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The complex mobilities of homeless people in rural England

Cloke, Paul, Milbourne, Paul ORCID: and Widdowfield, Rebekah 2003. The complex mobilities of homeless people in rural England. Geoforum 34 (1) , pp. 21-35. 10.1016/S0016-7185(02)00041-6

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This paper explores the interconnected issues of mobility, power and meaning in the context of rural homelessness. It explores two common assumptions relating to these interconnections: that rural homeless people move to cities thereby transposing homelessness into an urban problem; and that mobility is deeply implicated in the mapping of moral codes in rural areas. Drawing on a range of interviews with homeless people, and workers with homelessness agencies in the rural areas of Gloucestershire and Somerset, the paper discusses four types of movement: ‘local’ homeless people moving out of rural areas; ‘local’ homeless people moving within rural areas; homeless ‘incomers’ moving to rural areas; and itinerant/transient homeless people moving through rural areas. The complex mobilities of rural homeless people influence common ideas about where homelessness occurs and how it is experienced. These mobilities also affect how homelessness is ‘made known’ in rural areas, as different elements of the mobility of homeless people are discursively scattered amongst identity labels and policy arenas other than homelessness. Finally, homeless mobilities problematise the adequacy and nature of policy responses to homelessness in rural areas.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Homelessness; Rurality; Mobility; Moral codes; Discursive scattering
ISSN: 0016-7185
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:16

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