Writing on the margins from the center: Homeless youth and politics at the borders

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

American Educational Research Association Annual Conference


San Diego, CA

Conference Dates

April 13-17, 2009

Date of Presentation



Research with homeless youth requires negotiating with Institutional Review Boards, school districts, and social service agencies. Youth that are homeless live a life different from the researcher, thus issues of trust and caring need to be considered before asking a young person to share his or her story. The authors share insight learned from a qualitative study of the educational barriers of homeless youth. The overarching finding is that homeless youth are invisible and silenced in a social service system overwhelmed with red tape and bureaucratic procedures. The authors suggest that program developers, researchers, and policymakers give voice to homeless youth by listening to the stories they tell and then enacting policies that build on their recommendations.

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