The Sharp Edge of Precarity: A framework of multiple precarities and homelessness in Aotearoa New Zealand
This thesis presents a conceptual framework of ‘multiple precarities’ in order to describe intersectionalities of vulnerability and insecurity. This thesis also then road-tests the framework in the specific context of homelessness in Aotearoa New Zealand. By using the framework, homelessness is presented as both a condition and an identity, and is called the ‘sharp edge of precarity,’ where many different precarities intersect and coalesce. This thesis draws on empirical data collected through semi-structured interviews with key informants, a focus group with service providers in Auckland, field notes and observations, and a media analysis. The media analysis is also used to assess the representations of homelessness, and to evaluate how this aligns with the understanding of homelessness seen through the framework of multiple precarities. Though precarity is commonly used to assess peoples’ insecurity in the labour market (see for example Standing 2011), this thesis draws in various other interpretations of precarity. The resulting varieties of precarity are used to present the framework of multiple precarities as a holistic tool with which insecurity and vulnerability can be understood in a far more expansive way. This framework is far more applicable to the diverse situations that people experience than any one interpretation of precarity. Empirical data supports the use of the framework as a way to evaluate homelessness, and analysis of media suggests there are opportunities to use the framework of multiple precarities to communicate the nature of homelessness, or develop policy responses.
Advisor: Bond, Sophie
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Department of Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: homelessness; precarity; intersectionality; vulnerability; geography; insecurity; multiple precarities
Research Type: Thesis