HOBOhemia: Time-space of homeless persons

Why HOBOhemia? Hobohemia used to be a term for places where hobos, the urban tramps, used to concentrate in the USA at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. The term hobo has designated a very specific form of vagrancy, which was for the first time in history connected with industrial cities. Hobos represented the first urban form of homelessness. They worked as wage workers on railway constructions during summers, and turned into the urban poor in winters.

Just like the American hobos a hundred years ago, the Czech homeless persons inhabit nowadays a specific space-time in the Czech cities. They stay on busy streets, close to the shopping centres or traffic junctions, but they move as well to the outskirts of the cities during the day. The HOBOhemia, an interdisciplinary research project, is devoted to these very persons. The project is trying to identify the characteristics of the homeless individuals and in the same time capture temporal and spatial dynamics of their behaviour in the environment of two Czech cities, Prague and Pilsen.

The project is pursued by a team from the department of Local and Regional studies and department of Socioeconomics of Housing of the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The team of researchers is deliberately interdisciplinary. It involves social anthropologists, culturologists, sociologists and social geographers. Du to this fact, the issue can be approached from different perspectives.

The HOBOhemia website contains basic information about this research project, news and media coverage to this project and other interesting information including why  this project is outstanding not only within Czech research on homelessness, but on the international level as well.

HOBOhemia is a popularizing term for the research project Time and Space of Homeless Persons in a Post-socialist City: A Comparison of Prague and Pilsen (GA15-17540S). The project is funded by the Czech Science Foundation and runs  from January 2015 to December 2017. All information published on this site may be used for study purposes provided authorship rights are maintained and sources credited according to the standard rules of citation.