Inhabiting and participation processes

Special report: Truant participation
By Laetitia Overney

This paper describes the participation of the homeless in Centres d’Hébergement et de Réinsertion Sociale (CHRS). Participating while staying in one of these centers does not just mean expressing their opinion in participatory processes taking place in the context of law 2002-2. It also means seeking to take charge of their living space, creating for themselves anchorage points that have some of the qualities of a “home.” People housed in CHRS take part in collective spaces and communal life. They try to protect their intimacy and to keep a balance between public engagement and private life. By establishing a link between participation and the way people live in such places, our ethnography sheds a new light on what is generally referred to as participation. It shows often-overlooked political resources.


  • political participation
  • homeless
  • inhabiting
  • law 2002-2
  • emergency housing
  • ethnography
Go to the article on