If the supposedly disaffected young provide the subtext to so many of our social anxieties, then the young homeless loom larger here than most: our most vivid reminder of social exclusion, and exemplars too of what the tabloid press like to describe as the feckless, wilful poor.
This book explores what life is really like for Britain's young homeless: estranged from their families, out of work and making do on the fringes of social security. The result is a vivid portrait of a pressing social problem.
Based on extended fieldwork study - the author spent twelve months in the company of young people moving between hostel accommodation, rented bed-sit tenancies and episodes of street-sleeping - Better Times Than This is Britain's first full ethnographic study of youth homelessness.
Tom Hall is Head of the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. He has served as the British Sociological Association (BSA) Treasurer and as Editor of the BSA's flagship journal, Sociology. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and a Fellow of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods. He is the author of Better Times Than This (Pluto, 2003) and Footwork (Pluto, 2016).
1. Introduction 2. At the Hostel 3. In the Bed-sits 4. On the Streets 5. Growing Apart? 6. Coming of Age 7. Conclusion Notes Index