From the same journal

From the same journal

Housing and the transitional phases out of 'Disordered' lives: The case of leaving homelessness and street sex work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • C.C. Mcnaughton
  • T. Sanders


Publication details

JournalHousing Studies
DatePublished - Nov 2007
Issue number6
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)885-900
Original languageEnglish


This paper combines the findings from two empirical qualitative studies that examine transitions out of lifestyles and identities considered 'disordered'. Focusing on women's experiences of homelessness and street sex work the paper explores these transitions and the barriers the participants encounter in establishing 'ordered' lives. Four key points will be made. First, the mechanisms that can lead to successful transitions (housing, networks and welfare services) can often present barriers to change. Second, the 'yo-yo' effect, whereby women move in and out of negative situations in an ongoing cycle, is common. Third, it is argued that transitions are only successful if individuals find identity and 'ontological security'. Housing is a crucial aspect in these transitions; however, it can have negative as well as positive effects. It is argued that there is strong evidence to suggest that the conditional welfare services given through the entanglement of the welfare and criminal justice systems play a pivotal role in maintaining marginal lifestyles and a cycle of entrapment into social exclusion. These wider issues of the marginalisation of women who are assumed to be 'deviant' and 'disordered' are connected to broader changes in the West that criminalise and oppress citizens who are outside of mainstream society.

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