This chapter aims to show the dynamic nature of pathways over time and some of the processes involved such as leaving home or becoming homeless. It also aims to show how some of the factors discussed in the previous chapters interact in the early stages of a housing pathway. Also, the chapter reviews the existing applications of a pathways approach and uses this analysis to recommend ways in which research on housing pathways could be taken forward. The chapter begins with a discussion of the discourses that surround the process of leaving home. These discourses include ‘family’, ‘labour flexibility’, and ‘youth’. It is believed that these discourses frame the actions of individuals and are rooted in social norms and policies. The next section discusses the process of leaving home, looking at the different factors that generate the process and stages that young people move through. Described in this section as well are the living arrangements and destinations of young people when they leave home. The general theme of the section is the diversity of experience among young people in all aspects of the process and the ability to sustain independent living. The chapter then critically examines some attempts to apply a pathways framework to homelessness among young people and uses the shortcomings of this work to suggest directions for future research.
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