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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


Hannah Lucey


Department of Social Anthropology, St Catharine's College

PhD thesis: Homeless Mothers’ Experience of Caregiving in Dublin

Research interests
1. Homelessness
2. Kinship
3. Gender
4. Health Inequality

My PhD focuses on the efforts of homeless women to care for their children, and the ways in which these are shaped and subverted by external actors. Ireland has one of the highest rates of female homelessness in Europe, a crisis centred in the capital city of Dublin. For those women with long term experiences, the loss of child custody often forms a tipping point. Using ethnographic research, this project addresses how homeless women continue to care for their children in the face of material deprivation and normative socio-cultural imperatives, and how in turn, these attempts mould women’s sense of self.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your research interests?

I was inspired by my previous career as a doctor and experience as a volunteer, during which I frequently came into contact with the human cost of Dublin’s homelessness crisis.