The Construction of the Homeless as a Discursive-Political Struggle: A Discursive-Theoretical Re-reading of the Homeless Subject Position

  • Nico Carpentier
  • Vaia Doudaki
Keywords: post-structuralist discourse theory, subject position, homeless, mainstream media, street press


Within the literature on homelessness, the attention for what is often called ‘homeless identity’ is slowly increasing, and within this body of knowledge, the complex, contingent and contested nature of this identity also becomes more visible. This article aims to contribute to this discussion, by deploying Laclau and Mouffe’s (1985) discourse theory to produce a (discursive-) theoretical re-reading of the homeless identity, or, in discourse-theoretical terms, the homeless subject position. Acknowledging that the homeless subject position is part of a larger assemblage, this article, in particular, aims to show the contested nature of this subject position and how it is an object of political struggle. In the second part, this article zooms in on the literature on media constructions, and the struggle over the homeless subject position in (and between) mainstream media and the so-called street press.
Cri­ticising, Creating and Constructing: Equality, Reciprocity and Inclusivity