I’m the slice of pie that’s ostracised …. Foucault’s technologies, and personal agency, in the voice of women who are homeless, Adelaide, South Australia
In contrast to the international research (particularly in the United Kingdom and North America), much of the Australian literature regarding homelessness to date omits the perspective of people who are homeless. In contributing to the fledgling Australian literature in the field, the following article adopts a secondary approach to the data analysis of original research. When analysed, the voices of homeless women from an agency in Adelaide, South Australia exhibit elements of both Foucault's technologies of domination and the self. While the results show that the women do have a powerful sense of the broader external issues exerted on them (reflecting both technologies of domination and the self), the analysis also reveals ambiguities in their responses. Apparent in the voice of homeless women is a sense of personal agency which appears to be absent in Foucault's technologies. By considering the viewpoints of homeless women, various policy implications can also be drawn. Indeed, this is one of the motivations of the article, namely to inject into policy debate and development the voices of the people most adversely affected by it. The policy implications of the women's voices centre around the desire to be included rather than remain on the margins, the need for supportive relationships, the necessity to take small steps to independent living, and the need for more affordable, independent housing.