Youth homelessness: a social justice approach

Watson, J and Cuervo, H 2017, 'Youth homelessness: a social justice approach', Journal of Sociology, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 461-475.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Youth homelessness: a social justice approach
Author(s) Watson, J
Cuervo, H
Year 2017
Journal name Journal of Sociology
Volume number 53
Issue number 2
Start page 461
End page 475
Total pages 15
Publisher Sage Publications
Abstract Social justice approaches that work towards eliminating youth homelessness with a sole focus on material needs overlook the significance of non-material aspects, such as the impact of social exclusion and stigma on individuals' subjectivities. The lack of social legitimacy associated with homelessness is exacerbated under neoliberal conditions, with the shift from social to individual responsibility positioning those unable to achieve the normative transition to adulthood as social failures. We draw on interviews with young homeless women in Australia to extend the emerging sociological focus on the relational aspects of homelessness through a social justice lens. We analyse the association between subjectivity, stigma and neoliberalism, and draw on Iris Marion Young's theory of justice to highlight how these shape experiences of homelessness. We conclude that overcoming homelessness requires policies and practices that give a greater focus to non-material aspects of homelessness through an emphasis on empowerment, self-respect and autonomy.
Subject Social Theory
Social Work not elsewhere classified
DOI - identifier 10.1177/1440783317705204
Copyright notice © The Author(s) 2017
ISSN 1741-2978
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