Discursive and Institutional Construction

Discuss about the Discursive and Institutional Construction.

Australian Bureau of statistics has defined homelessness as the condition when an individual does not have proper accommodation system. To shed more light, an individual can only be termed to suffer from homelessness when he lives in a dwelling that is inadequate or has no tenure (Chamberlain et al., 2014). They can be also considered homeless when their initial tenure is short and cannot be extended or does not allow such individuals to have control or enjoy access to space for social relations. There are three types of homelessness like primary, secondary and tertiary homelessness. For example, young refugee people, migrants are examples of secondary homelessness. Mainly indigenous people, mental health patients, women, children and others are the main victims of homelessness.

The census that had been conducted in the year 2011 has shown that presently the nation of Australia has 105237 individuals who are experiencing homelessness. This in turn accounts for about one individual to be homeless among 200 individuals that record an increase of 17% from 2006 census. Moreover, 59% of the individuals are seen to be male and 41% of the individuals are females. It is also found that 60% of the individuals who are affected are under the age of 35. About 20% are found to be indigenous and about 46% of the individuals are seen to born overseas (Flatau et al., 2015). However, it is also noted that about 255657 individuals have been provided support and seven million nights of accommodation by the different types of specialist homelessness services in the year 2014-2015.

Many causes of homelessness are found to be intricately associated with the social issue. The main cause that results in the highest number of individuals becoming homeless is the domestic and family violence. This accounts for about 25% of the cases. The other causes of homelessness in the descending order of number of cases are financial difficulties, housing crisis, inappropriate dwelling conditions, relationship as well as family breakdowns and housing affordability and stress.

Researchers are of the opinion that there might be a huge impact of homelessness on society. This impact may be quite costly not only in the terms of tax dollars spent but also by the huge pressure and strain that the social agencies face in order to tackle the situation. This condition also puts pressure on healthcare, mental health, incarceration, economy as well as environment of the nation (Johnson & Watson, 2017).

Different Australian as well as non-profit organizations has extended their hands for helping the homeless individuals to develop better quality lives. Some of the organizations are Mission Australia, Homeless Australian, St Vincent De Paul society, Streetsmart Australian and Salvation Army (McNamara, 2015). All these organizations had taken upon different initiatives for helping the nation to overcome the issue of helplessness. They had taken initiatives like developing programs for homelessness, helps to maintain housing and avoid homelessness (Sharam & hulse, 2014). They also helped people to learn life skills and community connection, provide them with food and clothing, and provide them with honesty and both intensive and private tenancy support.

Funding is provided currently under two important councils of Australian Government agreement. Every year, the National Affordable Housing Agreement  (NAHA) who provide $250 million per year. Moreover, the National Partnership agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) donated $115 million from March 2015 to June 2017. Homelessness is now considered to be human right issues and therefore different policies and legislations are used to help such individuals in getting their human rights. Rights to education, rights to security and rights to standard living and more are also influenced in the policies. International Covenant on Civil and Political rights called the ICCPR, International Covenant on economics, social and cultural rights (ICESCR), Convention on the Rights of the Children (CRC) are some of the international treaties that are also helping in protecting the human rights (Bullen, 2015). The nation has also become active participant in the treaties and has thereby come under legal as well as moral obligation for promoting, protecting and realizing human rights of all.

We were given the task of developing a presentation on certain important topics from which we chose the topic of homelessness. It was a presentation, which we had to represent in front of the whole class. It was a teamwork where four members of the team has to work collaboratively so that the ideas and inputs by all are pout into the making of presentation and we also learn team working skills and challenges at the same time. However, I had to go through a very rough phase, as I could not get enough help from my team members as I had expected earlier. One of the team members withdrew from the course and therefore the team strength reduced to four that automatically resulted in creating pressure on the rest of the three members. One of the team members then fell sick and we were left with only two other member. The other member was facing severe personal issues for which he cannot participate in team effort. Ultimately, the entire responsibility came upon me and at one time, I was burnt out. I felt like withdrawing myself, as I could not take up the stress. Then i realized the true sense of team spirit and I decided to take the responsibility of the entire team as a dedicated member. Moreover, I also decided that I will not prepare ppt presentation as that will not stand out of the other presentation developed by other teams. Therefore, I opted for using software for prezi and developed a prezi presentation so that the audience gets more interested. However, as I was from international background, I faced a large number of issues in speaking and writing English fluently. However, I did not result myself from demeaning myself and tried my best to overcome my skills in English. However, I continued to try and hence the report that I developed had good quality English that impressed the audience. Overall, with the various difficulties, which I went through the phase, I had become more string, focused and dedicated towards my work. I have seen that how hard work pays in gaining respect and applause and hence I am determined to overcome all barriers that come in my way and emerge victorious in all of them.


Bullen, J. (2015). Governing homelessness: The discursive and institutional construction of homelessness in Australia. Housing, Theory and Society, vol 32(2), pp 218-239. https://doi.org/10.1080/14036096.2015.1024886

Chamberlain, C., Johnson, G., & Robinson, C. (Eds.). (2014). Homelessness in Australia. UNSW Press.retreived from: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=gfKLBQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT8&dq=homelessness+in+australia&ots=k-PUSCb6Cj&sig=0wzUXD7y59b5qIFn9TzDgk4Y0q0#v=onepage&q=homelessness%20in%20australia&f=false

Flatau, P., Thielking, M., MacKenzie, D., & Steen, A. (2015). The cost of youth homelessness in Australia study: snapshot report 1. DOI: 10.4225/50/55AC3D19B3DAE

Johnson, G., & Watson, J. (2017). International commentary: The implications of the family options study for family homelessness in Australia. CityScape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, vol 19(3), 215-221.retreived from : https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Guy_Johnson/publication/321871263_International_Commentary_The_Implications_of_the_Family_Options_Study_for_Family_Homelessness_in_Australia/links/5a36f8200f7e9b10d8484b85/International-Commentary-The-Implications-of-the-Family-Options-Study-for-Family-Homelessness-in-Australia.pdf

McNamara, P. (2015). Young people at risk of lifelong poverty: Youth homelessness in Australia. In Theoretical and Empirical Insights into Child and Family Poverty (pp. 217-238). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17506-5_14

Sharam, A., & Hulse, K. (2014). Understanding the nexus between poverty and homelessness: relational poverty analysis of families experiencing homelessness in Australia. Housing, Theory and Society,  Vol 31(3), pp 294-309. https://doi.org/10.1080/14036096.2014.882405

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