The Problematic of Homelessness and the Homeless in Australia

By Emily Schindeler.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores how the creation of a population described as ‘homeless’, divided from the broad Australian community, has become a critical technology in defining and shaping the governing of the homeless. This process exposes the way in which discourse has been grounded in the deviance of the homeless rather than as a problem of homelessness. It considers how the social sciences in general, and research sector in particular, has contributed to this discourse. Through this analysis it is possible to expose the way in which such disciplines have been collaborators in the consequential failure of national policy to deliver on Australia’s commitment as a signatory to the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 Universal Pact for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which assert the fundamental right of individuals to adequate housing.

The framework for this analysis is drawn from the concept of governmentality developed, and expanded upon, by Michel Foucault in the works Discipline and Punish (1977) and subsequently in the essay ‘The Subject and Power’ (1982) and Governmentality (1991). Key elements that underpin this theoretical framework are that of population and subject, power and authority. These elements are linked to, and are shaped by, the generation of knowledge itself in a feedback relationship.

Keywords: Homelessness, Homeless, Governmentality

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.83-94. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 598.114KB).

Dr. Emily Schindeler

Post Graduate Student, School of Justice Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


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