The Homeless Encounter in Public Space

Ms Kajsa Lundberg1
1University Of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

This paper scrutinises the visual aspects of the encounter with the homeless as well as the homeless’ encounter with public space. Such analysis is prompted by the recent increase in the criminalisation of homelessness in Australia, which follows a similar trend to many other English-speaking countries.  Aesthetic expectations imposed on people but also on spaces are instrumental in the construction of homeless individuals and their place in and right to public spaces. Through the lens of visual criminology, this paper draws from interviews with volunteers at various homelessness services to consider the visual aspects of our understanding of people experiencing homelessness. Such a commitment to scrutinise the visual aspects of living life in public space contributes to the understanding of the criminalisation of homelessness, opens up for new and better ways of supporting homeless people, and contributes to a paradigm that demands attention to the visual in criminological research.


Kajsa Lundberg completed a Master of Criminology at the University of Melbourne in 2018, with particular interest in homelessness, visual criminology, and urban environments.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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