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Cynthia Mothamaha Phiri

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Doctoral research: Homeless Women in Shelter: Everyday mundane struggles to get by.

Theoretical Perspectives:

  • Social constructionism
  • Interactionist approaches (including Ubuntu)
  • Ethnography

Research questions:

  • How and to what extent is homelessness in general, and women´s homelessness in particular constructed as a social problem in South Africa?
  • What discourses on homelessness are used at institutional/ service provider level by social work practitioners and managers in the employ of the government and claims-making organization and to what extent does their narrative of homeless people and homelessness possibly implicate ‘The government responses to homelessness in South Africa’, (Naidoo, 2010) as a framework?
  • How do homeless women living in shelter in Johannesburg Inner City conceptualize, account for home, homelessness and their own life histories?


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