Homelessness and Mobile Communication

Homelessness and Mobile Communication

By Justine Humphry

This book examines how mobile phones and the internet have become a vital part of the everyday lives of people experiencing homelessness. But the access mobile phones provide is costly, insecure and limited, producing an experience of being precariously connected. Drawing on findings of research conducted with over one hundred young people, families and adults experiencing homelessness in Australia and the United States, this book analyses homelessness as a mediated condition and explores the underpinning processes that shape digital disparities. It contributes to scholarship on mobile communication and inequality, highlighting the digital patterns, issues and difficulties of a group disproportionately affected by service reform and developments in digital citizenship, smart cities and algorithmic governance.

This book:

  • Provides timely insights and evidence on an understudied population in mobile communication scholarship
  • Reveals new understandings about contemporary homelessness and inequality in a society premised on digital connectivity
  • Contributes to existing theories of precarity and to research on the dynamics of digital inclusion and exclusion


  1. Introduction: Meanings, Mediations, and Mobilities
  2. Mobile Lifelines in the Lives of People Who Are Homeless
  3. ‘Second-Class’ Access: Smartphone Dependence and the Mobile Marketplace
  4. Bearing the Burden: Digitisation of Government, Health, and Welfare
  5. Precarious Mobilities: Homelessness and Digital Access in Urban Space
  6. Policing Homelessness: Smart Cities and Algorithmic Governance
  7. Conclusion: Is There Anyone Home?

Justine Humphry is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Cultures at the University of Sydney, Australia, and a member of IAMCR.

The above text is from the publisher’s description of the book:

Title: Homelessness and Mobile Communication: Precariously Connected
Author: Justine Humphry
Published: 2022
Pages: 215
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Singapore

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