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)

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