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Parklife: stories and spaces in lockdown

Parklife: stories and spaces in lockdown

Mann, Sally (2021) Parklife: stories and spaces in lockdown. European Journal of Homelessness, 15 (2). pp. 219-236. ISSN 2030-2762 (Print), 2030-3106 (Online)

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In total, ‘stay at home’ orders were in place in England for 92 days in 2020 (Tatlow et al., 2021). This period of British history will no doubt receive immense academic scrutiny. What is less well-known (until now) is what was happening at a circle of six benches in an innocuous urban park in East Ham, East London. This small-scale research project investigates experiences of homelessness, social exclusion and belonging, stories and identity and the attraction of 'parklife'. It began as a curation of stories from six benches where, despite the shifting demographics of parks in lockdown, remained under the control of a group of street drinkers. The park bench users represent a small subset of people experiencing homelessness in the UK. However, their stories highlight the vital role of narrative in identity creation, the need to be known in a familiar place and the contest to claim space in the park.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article was published in the European Journal of Homelessness. This is the author's second publication to this journal. An earlier blog about this research project was published by the Sociological Review magazine. It is hoped that a small funding bid will achieved to continue the narratology aspect of this research - with time to collate accounts from people who have successfully transitioned from street homelessness. A participatory co-production of knowledge project is currently being devised and, it is hoped, will be a collaboration between a grassroots advocacy charity and the researcher as part of the Applied Sociology Research Group.
Uncontrolled Keywords: homelessness; park; narrative; identity; deviance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Centre for Applied Sociology Research (CASR)
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2022 10:27

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