The right to exist: Homelessness and the paradox of leisure

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Justin Harmon, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This essay explores one man’s life as a person experiencing homelessness and the societal impositions (stigma) and barriers (criminal ordinances) that shape his sense of self and perceived ability to transcend homelessness. The focus is on trying to understand what leisure is – or if it can even exist – for someone experiencing homelessness. As will be demonstrated, much of the societally available resources are lacking (shelters, legal help, access to water and hygiene needs) for those who need them; yet still others are wary of using anything in the ‘system’ because it saps whatever sense of agency they may have left. Still others prefer to stay on the periphery of society and focus solely on their daily survival. As public space is contested and evermore privatized, how do those without spaces of their own fight for their right to exist?

Additional Information

Leisure Studies
Language: English
Date: 2019
Homelessness, leisure, stigma, public space, criminalization

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