© 2016

Youth Homelessness in Late Modernity

Reflexive Identities and Moral Worth

  • Unique theoretical framework, which demonstrates important connections between youth homelessness, identity and wider social changes influencing contemporary young people

  • Analyses the subjective, relational and embodied dimensions of the experience of homelessness within a coherent theory of youth homelessness

  • Extensive qualitative data in which young people from urban and rural areas describe the experience of homelessness in their own words


Part of the Perspectives on Children and Young People book series (PCYP, volume 1)

About this book


This book explores the identities, embodied experiences, and personal relationships of young people experiencing homelessness, and analyses these in relation to the material and symbolic position that youth homelessness occupies in modern societies. Drawing on empirical research conducted in both urban and rural areas, the book situates young people’s experiences of homelessness within a theoretical framework that connects embodied identities and relationships with processes of social change. The book theorises a ‘symbolic economy of youth homelessness’ that encompasses the subjective, aesthetic, and relational dimensions of homelessness. This theory shows the personal, interpersonal and affective suffering that is caused by the relations of power and privilege that produce contemporary youth homelessness. The book is unique in the way in which it places youth homelessness within the wider contexts of inequality, and social change. Whilst contemporary discussions of youth homelessness understand the topic as a discrete ‘social problem’, this book demonstrates the position that youth homelessness occupies within wider social processes, inequalities, and theoretical debates, addressing theories of social change in late modernity and their relationship to the cultural construction of youth. These theoretical debates are made concrete by means of an exploration of an important form of contemporary inequality: youth homelessness.


Homelessness in Australia Ulrich Beck Youth homelessness community development contemporary youth inequalities dimensions of identity diverse social and community backgrounds embodied identity geographical inequalities homelessness in rural communities interpersonal dimensions of homelessness narratives of homelessness practices of self-management reflexivity rural youth social change social policy social problems symbolic economy urban youth

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

About the authors

Dr David Farrugia holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and is lecturer in Youth Sociology at the University of Newcastle. His expertise is in sociological understandings of youth, youth homelessness, and contemporary youth identities. David has conducted research in urban and rural communities on inequality and youth identity, focusing on the relationship between youth identities and inequalities in a context of social change. Dr Farrugia also contributes to debates in contemporary sociological theory concerning reflexivity and inequality, and on social practices in complex societies. David is the author of papers published in the British Journal of Sociology, Sociology, the Journal of Youth Studies and Current Sociology, as well as a number of scholarly book chapters.

Bibliographic information