The paper repositions homelessness in existing cities by highlighting the importance of transformative economic agency. Relying on a combination of long-term ethnographic research in the city of Pilsen, a traditional industrial second-order city in Czechia, and political–economic analysis, this paper introduces the concept of the quasi-household economy (QHE). This economy connects the informal and formal spheres and involves not only “homeless” people but also some classes of housed people. The paper further argues that the QHE is held together by the politics of the “same boat,” a particular way of creating social relations on the street. Thus, the QHE not only plays a crucial affirmative role in the market economy but also has the capability to transform some aspects of the locally enacted global economy. The paper concludes that Czech homelessness, while being a corollary of macro-level processes of integration into the global economy and local policy making, is also being made and re-made in everyday (in)formal socio-economic exchanges. This has important practical and theoretical implications for public policy and urban research.
Article with impact factor
Vašát, Petr. 2023. „Quasi-household economy: Rethinking homelessness in post-socialist Pilsen and beyond.“ Cities 134: 104190. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264275123000021?dgcid=author#gts0010.