Healing Home: Health and Homelessness in the Life Stories of Young Women

Healing Home: Health and Homelessness in the Life Stories of Young Women

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By Vanessa Oliver
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2013
World Rights
296 Pages
ISBN 9781442613447
Published Feb 2013
Online discount: 15%
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ISBN 9781442645318
Published Feb 2013
Online discount: 25%
 $67.00    $50.25
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442662360
Published Feb 2013
Online discount: 26%
Full purchase $30.95

Based on research that was awarded the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal, Healing Home is an exploration of the lives and health of young women experiencing homelessness. Vanessa Oliver employs an innovative methodology that blends sociology and storytelling practices to investigate these women’s access to health services, their understandings of health and health care delivery, and their health-seeking behaviours. Through their life stories, Oliver demonstrates how personal and social experiences shape health outcomes.

In contrast to many previous studies that have focused on the deficits of these young people, Healing Home is both youth-centric and youth-positive in its approach: by foregrounding the narratives of the women themselves, Oliver empowers a sub-section of the population that traditionally has not had a voice in determining policies that shape their realities. Applying a strong, articulate, and systemic analysis to on-the-ground narratives, Oliver is able to offer fresh, incisive recommendations for health and social service providers with the potential to effect real-world change for this marginalized population.

Vanessa Oliver is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Mount Allison University.

Table of Contents

Preface: A Room of One’s Own

I. “The Story Behind the Story”: An Introduction

II. “Once Upon A Time”: Storying Feminist Theory in Neoliberal Times

III. “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman…Soon”: A Narrative Project

IV. “Girls Aloud”: Narratives and Self-Stories: Savannah; Danika; Erin; Jean; Radha; Faith & Raven; Arielle

V. “Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice”: Age, Space, Gender and Health

VI. “Seen and Not Heard”: Negotiating Health and Wellness

VII. “Begging for Change”: Barriers, Facilitators and Implications

VIII. “Living in a Material World”: Challenges and Change

IX: “A Journey of a Thousand Miles”: One Conclusion

Youth Resources List


“Healing Home is a book of high quality on all dimensions – theoretical, methodological, substantive, and technical. Vanessa Oliver’s focus on ‘homeless’ young women in Canada, as well as her provision of space for them to tell their stories, is unique: despite the ever-proliferating literatures on homelessness, even feminist researchers have paid very little attention to youth who are inadequately housed or note housed at all, and considerably less attention has been devoted to female than to male youth in that situation. Oliver is to be commended for conducting this much-needed, groundbreaking exploratory study that will provide a solid foundation for future research on ‘homeless’ young women. She makes a compelling case for the urgent need for decision-makers at all levels to elicit the perceptions, experiences, and recommendations of those who will be targeted by their legislation and policies.”

Dorothy Chunn, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University