1st Edition

Street Youth in Canada An Ethnography of Adversity and Artifice

By Mark S. Dolson Copyright 2024
    170 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides an ethnographic examination of the everyday lives and struggles of street-involved youth in Canada. Based on fieldwork conducted throughout downtown London, Ontario, it features rich ethnographic data as well as theoretical insights informed by continental philosophy. The chapters highlight informants’ experiences of poverty, addiction and poor mental health, and reflect on their relation to the state – including participation in the provincial government’s programme of social assistance provision (Ontario Works). The author considers how social, cultural, political, economic and existential factors influence and shape human subjectivity. They explore the notion of becoming and offer a re-evaluation of individual agency and action, specifically related to the lived experience of informants who are seen as wounded bricoleurs. The study is relevant to anthropologists, sociologists, geographers and others with an interest in homelessness.


    1 Neoliberal Deformations of the Social

    2 Ethnographic Fieldwork on the Homefront

    3 “We’re Not Really Living, We’re Surviving”

    4 Life Finds a Way… On the Street

    5 “Fucking with People’s Heads”

    7 Creative Release

    8 Taking Stock: Stories as Social Action

    Conclusion: Life—Pitch, Yaw, Roll…and Contradiction?


    Mark S. Dolson (PhD Western University) is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Waterloo, Canada.