Creating Intersections: Mapping the Parallel Lives of Homelessness in Washington D.C.



Peck, Alice

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This thesis explores homelessness in Washington D.C. Drawing from eight months of ethnographic fieldwork, I consider experiences of homelessness in the changing urban space of Washington D.C., contextualizing these within the broader forces of neoliberalism. Situating personal narratives within the social and physical spaces in which daily life unravels, I critically analyse the denial of space and place to people who are homeless, whose existence as homeless bodies represents stark contradictions to normative ideals of neoliberal subjects. I draw on theories of symbolic, structural, and everyday violence to argue that to be homeless is to exist within a category of precarity and powerlessness in the parallel margins of society – the spaces in which paradoxically different, concurrent lives are chartered.



Homelessness, Washington (D.C.), Neoliberalism, Violence, Space and place