Youth Homelessness and Survival Sex: Intimate Relationships and Gendered Subjectivities, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Youth Homelessness and Survival Sex

Intimate Relationships and Gendered Subjectivities, 1st Edition

By Juliet Watson

Routledge

174 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138714649
pub: 2017-10-03
SAVE ~$29.00
$145.00
$116.00
x
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315231198
pub: 2017-10-10
from $27.48


FREE Standard Shipping!

Description

Survival sex, commonly understood to be the exchange of sex for material support, is a practice that is associated with young homeless women. However, such a narrow definition of survival sex fails to recognise the multiple, complex, and coexisting motivations of young homeless women for engaging in intimate relationships in post-industrial capitalist society.

In Youth Homelessness and Survival Sex, Watson’s insightful analysis of personal narratives reveals how young homeless women are exposed to situations in which survival can be impeded or assisted by playing out specific gender roles. Indeed, in identifying and contesting the dominant social discourses that young homeless women draw upon to frame their experiences of intimate affairs, Watson challenges the reader to understand how gendered subjectivities are produced and performed through heteronormative relationships. This enlightening book is vital in showing that homelessness is not a gender-neutral phenomenon and that there are gender-specific processes and practices involved in the navigation of poverty, violence, and social exclusion.

Youth Homelessness and Survival Sex will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, interested in fields such as Homelessness, Youth Studies, Social Work, and Gender Studies.

Reviews

Young women’s homelessness is often hidden from view – not showing up in official statistics nor in popular representations of ‘rough sleepers’. In this important and original new study, Juliet Watson vividly illuminates young women’s experiences. In doing so she makes us question our understandings of both homelessness and of transactional sex, opening up nuanced ways of thinking about the intimate relationships women build in order to survive.

Rosalind Gill, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, City University of London, UK

In Youth Homelessness and Survival Sex, Juliet Watson offers a compelling and confronting account of how young women face, understand, and manage the risks they face in homelessness. Through exceptional empirical research, deep theoretical expertise, and sensitive engagement with experiences of poverty, gendered violence, and social exclusion, Watson illuminates how these young women make strategic use of heteronormative femininity in their search for security, survival, and resources. This is an important and valuable book that reinforces the critical importance of gender analysis of precarious lives.

JaneMaree Maher, Director, Centre for Women's Studies and Gender Research, Monash University, Australia

In this fascinating and disturbing book, Juliet Watson provides us with a scholarly yet unflinching examination of the reality of survival sex for young homeless women. She shines much needed light on a topic that is too often referred to in passing, and seldom given the in-depth consideration it deserves.

Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Professor of Housing and Social Policy in the Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate (I-SPHERE), Heriot-Watt University, UK

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1. Introduction: youth homelessness, gender, and the significance of survival sex

Introduction

What is survival sex?

Reconceptualising survival sex

Defining homelessness

Applying a gendered lens to homelessness

Conceptualising the home in relation to homelessness

Constructing gendered subjectivities

The research project

The significance of experience: a narrative approach

Chapter map

References

Chapter 2. Young homeless women and the neoliberal subject

Introduction

Neoliberalism

The neoliberal subject

Contemporary conditions of youth homelessness

Discourse, power, and intersectionality

Youth transitions—locating young people in post-industrial capitalist society

Individualisation

Homelessness, individualisation, and class

Young women ‘at risk’

Postfeminism

Postfeminism as anti-feminism

Postfeminism as a conceptual shift within feminism

Postfeminist critical analysis

Conclusion

References

Chapter 3. Social capital, performativity, and gendered subjectivities in the homeless sphere

Introduction

Gender, homelessness, and subjectivity

Social capital theory

Capital

The field

Habitus

Embodiment

Symbolic violence and romantic love

Performativity

Feminine capital

Vicarious physical capital

Conclusion

References

Chapter 4. Survival sex, stigma, and managing material conditions

‘A butterfly’—Hayley’s story

Introduction

Gender, homelessness, and stigma—‘Just a piece of meat’ (Hayley)

Stigma and social capital—‘I was a junkie, slut, alcoholic person, or something’ (Nicki)

Survival sex and vulnerability—‘He didn’t want me there once he found out that I had a boyfriend’ (Alice)

Stigma and subjectivities—‘I’ve got standards and I’m a nice person’ (Jessie)

Material support—‘It was just ’cause I’d seen the pretty side of things’ (Sarah)

Conclusion

References

Chapter 5. Survival sex and gender-based violence

‘My yo-yo life’—Jessie’s story

Introduction

Violence and homelessness—‘I’ve put myself in situations that I could’ve stayed away from’ (Jessie)

Feminine capital and physical protection—‘I didn’t want to be by myself because I was scared’ (Hayley)

Vicarious physical capital—‘I know people were scared of him’ (Hayley)

Violence in intimate relationships—‘I don’t know what I was doing wrong’ (Jessie)

Intimate relationships and the depletion of capital—‘No one wanted me at their place with him around’ (Nikita)

Intimate relationships and romantic discourse—‘I say that "I love you" and everything’s OK again’ (Hayley)

Conclusion

References

Chapter 6. Intimate relationships, social exclusion, and belonging

‘The little black duck: at the end of day it does have a life’—Nikita’s story

Introduction

Homelessness and social exclusion—‘The word homeless does actually kill’ (Lexi)

Social exclusion and performativity—‘You become inconsistent and everyone looks at you badly ’cause your performance is bad’ (Elle)

Seeking stability and belonging from survival sex—‘I’ve got something, I’ve got a life. I’ve got a boyfriend. Look at me’ (Hayley)

The pressures of homelessness on intimate relationships—‘There’s not really much happiness and joy’ (Nikita)

Maintaining subjectivity stability through adversity—‘I think going through so much has made us so much stronger’ (Bianca)

Intimate relationships in homeless spaces—‘In a normal society you’d be in your own home’ (Hayley)

Conclusion

References

Chapter 7. Constructing authentic selves

‘Searching for your identity’—Lexi’s story

Introduction

Making the right choice, authenticity, and subject positions—‘When you know what you want, you will achieve it’ (Lexi)

Postfeminism and choice—‘I don’t really think about it as feminism, I just think, tough chick’ (Angela)

The choice to be single: necessity—‘Two people, it’s harder than one’ (Elle)

The choice to be single: resistance—‘When the time is for me, then I’ll be settling down’ (Lexi)

The choice to leave an abusive intimate relationship: refusing to be a victim—‘I got a backbone and I said "no more"’ (Sarah)

The choice to leave an abusive intimate relationship: becoming a mother—‘Past the brink of had enough’ (Angela)

The choice to leave an abusive intimate relationship: the importance of capital—‘They’d made me see things that I couldn’t see when I was in it’ (Nikita)

Choosing intimate relationships—‘I don’t think it’s really homelessness that defines my relationship’ (Alice)

Conclusion

References

Chapter 8. Conclusion: diversifying homelessness

Introduction

Destabilising discourses: making structures visible

Youth transitions

Individualisation

Postfeminism

Subjectivity construction

Managing material conditions

Managing violence

Managing social exclusion

Narratives of choice

Final words

References

Appendix: more stories

Alice—The shift from having my family as a family to having Chris as a family

Amina—Through high aspiration comes firm resolve

Amy—My life

Angela—The ‘how to’ and ‘how not to’ live life in Melbourne

Bianca—Life as a house

Elle—The puzzle

Nicki—Crap life

Paige—How can you put a title on something like that?

Pauline—My life

Sarah—Simple life

Index

About the Author

Juliet Watson is a lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, at RMIT University, Australia.

About the Series

Youth, Young Adulthood and Society

The Youth, Young Adulthood and Society series approaches youth as a distinct area, bringing together social scientists from many disciplines to present cutting-edge research monographs and collections on young people in societies around the world today. The books present original, exciting research, with strongly theoretically- and empirically-grounded analysis, advancing the field of youth studies. Originally set up and edited by Andy Furlong, the series presents interdisciplinary and truly international, comparative research monographs.

Contacts for the series:

Professor Tracy Shildrick: Tracy.Shildrick@newcastle.ac.uk

Professor John Goodwin: jdg3@le.ac.uk

Professor Henrietta O'Connor: hso1@le.ac.uk

Emily Briggs at Routledge: emily.briggs@tandf.co.uk

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC000000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General