Homelessness – a hidden problem for women in New Zealand

It is difficult to quantify the number of women who are homeless in New Zealand. Homelessness means much more than just living on the street – it can mean being unsafe, having an insecure tenancy, being inadequately or inappropriately housed or having nowhere to call your own. Hidden homelessness is often as a problem because of this difficulty. However, it is temporary or long term situation for many women.

Debbie Hager. Homeworks Trust, Auckland.

Homelessness – a hidden problem for women in New Zealand (PDF)

Near and Far: Social Distancing in Domiciled Characterisations of Homeless People

For domiciled individuals, homeless people provide a disturbing remind that all is not right in the world. Reactions to seeing homeless people frequently encompass repulsion, discomfort, sympathy and sometimes utility. This paper considers domiciled constructions of homeless people drawn from interviews with 16 participants recruited in the central business district of a New Zealand city. It documents how, when trying to make sense of this complex social problem, domiciled people draw on shared characterisations of homeless people. The concept of ‘social distancing’ is used to interrogate the shifting and sometimes incongruous reactions evident in participant accounts. ‘Social distancing’ is conceptualised as a dynamic communal practice existing in interactions between human beings and reflected in the ways that domiciled people talk about their experiences with homeless individuals.

Darrin James Hodgetts, Ottilie Emma Elizabeth Stolte, Alan Radley, Chez Leggatt-Cook, Shiloh Groot and Kerry Chamberlain.

Near and Far: Social Distancing in Domiciled Characterisations of Homeless People (PDF)

The mobile hermit and the city: considering links between places, objects, identities in social psychological research on homelessness

This paper explores aspects of a homeless man’s everyday life and his use of material objects to maintain a sense of place in the city. We are interested in complex functions of walking, listening and reading such as social practices central to how this man forges a life as a mobile hermit across physical and imagined locales. This highlights connections between physical place, use of material objects, imagination, and sense of self. Our analysis illustrates the value of paying attention to geographical locations and objects in social psychological research on homelessness.

Darrin J. Hodgetts, Ottilie Stolte, Kerry Chamberlain, Alan Radley, Shiloh Groot and Linda Waimarie Nikora. University of Waikato, Massey University, University of Loughborough.

The mobile hermit and the city (PDF)

A trip to the library: homelessness and social inclusion

This article explores homeless men’s visits to a public library. It shows how homeless men identified the library as a space for safety and social participation, at a time when the regional newspaper published an item questioning the appropriateness of their presence in the library.

Darrin Hodgetts, Ottilie Stolte, Kerry Chamberlain, Alan Radley, Linda Nikora, Eci Nabalarua & Shiloh Groot.
Department of Psychology, University of Waikato

A trip to the library: homelessness and social inclusion (PDF)