chapter  6
20 Pages

Intimate relationships, social exclusion, and belonging

ByJuliet Watson

This chapter explains how the insecurity and social exclusion connected with homelessness contribute to young women engaging in survival sex to provide a sense of stability and belonging in their lives. The empirical research conducted with young homeless women illuminates how they activate their (limited) feminine capital through their intimate relationships in order to diminish their social isolation, and to strengthen and support their subjective positioning. However, as the young women’s narratives demonstrate, the stability they desire does not often eventuate due to the volatility of the homeless sphere and the embedded structural disadvantage within which their intimate relationships take place.