Skip to main content

Is there Any Such Thing as Homelessness? Measurement, Explanation and Process in 'Homelessness' Research

Buy Article:

$53.17 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Homelessness, however defined, is an outcome of earlier social and individual processes, but is it a social construction that classifies diverse circumstances and individuals under a convenient description, or can a discrete set of social processes, with clear lines of causation, be identified? This question is more than of academic interest, for if public authorities and campaigning organizations are to tackle a perceived social problem they need to know whether those groups or individuals classified as homeless are such as a result of similar or completely diverse antecedent circumstances. Furthermore, the resolution of the problem requires that there is some notion of its scale in a given location. This paper discusses definitional and explanatory issues in the context of the findings from two multi-method studies of homelessness in Plymouth and Torbay, UK. It concludes that the idea of a discrete category—that of 'homelessness' is not useful in the resolution of housing need resulting from heterogeneous antecedent conditions.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2001

More about this publication?

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more