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Homeless Subjects and the Chance of Space. A More-Than-Human Geography of Homelessness in Turin

LANCIONE, MICHELE (2011) Homeless Subjects and the Chance of Space. A More-Than-Human Geography of Homelessness in Turin. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This work is based upon an ethnographic enquiry in Turin, North-West of Italy, to interrogate homelessness as a subjective condition that emerges from the entanglements of the individual and the city. Arguing that canonical framing of homelessness do not take into full consideration the relationalities and nuances that intervene between homeless people and the mechanosphere of the city, this work develops a detailed theoretical and empirical investigation of the more- than-human entanglements through which homeless subjects emerge in the opening and closures of urban spaces. Three research questions are pursued: the first two investigating how subjects are constituted in the process of being and becoming a homeless individual, and the third questioning how the public and private institutions that provide service to homeless people actually open or close opportunities to them. The concept of chance of space has been developed to sustain the hypothesis that city’s space offers infinite potentialities to homeless subjects, which however are constantly codified and normalized by the discursive and relational powers consciously and unconsciously at work in the urban fabric. The research questions have been tackled through an in-deep ethnographic investigation developed in three long chapters, which lead to theoretical and political outcomes. This work shows that interrogating homelessness in a more-than-human fashion a world of multiples subjects emerges, with various attitudes, capabilities, relational and affective characterizations. It opens the door to the recognition of spatial chances that might lead, if recognized and enacted, to enrich homeless subjects’ perspectives. According, a critique of the mainstream normative approach on homelessness is developed, arguing in favour of new ethical stances that extend the validity of this enquiry beyond Turin’s case. This ethics claims the necessity to take seriously the entanglements between space, time and the homeless subject; advocates a right to difference and consequently to differentiated interventions; and argues for the necessity to challenge the rigidity of certain urban contexts in order to enact homeless people own capabilities.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Homeless People; Chance of Space; Non-Representational Theory; Space; Turin; Abstract Machine
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 10:39

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