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The Experience of Homelessness: A Qualitative Study Using Podcast Data and Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis.

Brown, Zoe (2019) The Experience of Homelessness: A Qualitative Study Using Podcast Data and Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Previous research concerning homelessness has mainly used quantitative methodology focusing on the presumed disease risks, survival needs and demographics of the homeless population. This study employed a qualitative approach using podcast data, to explore the subjective and lived experience of homelessness. Six participants (one female, five male) gave their accounts during semi-structured interviews conducted by Homeless Podcast and remain online within the public domain. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was carried out on subsequent transcripts, where four main themes emerged: A homeless identity; Existential tiredness; Hopelessness and helplessness; and Humbled outlook on life. The findings illustrate that homelessness is a complex process conveying severe and multiple losses that impart a destructive impact on identity, self-esteem and physical and psychological well-being. Participants also disclosed elements of positive emotional growth, adopting deeper meaning, humble outlook, and respect for life. The findings are discussed in relation to previous research with suggestions for future direction.

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