Title Helter-Shelter
Subtitle Security, Legality, and an Ethic of Care in an Emergency Shelter
Author Prashan Ranasinghe
ISBN 9781487522063
List price USD 29.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 288
Book size 153 x 229 mm
Publishing year 2017
Original publisher University of Toronto Press
Published in India by University of Toronto Press
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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Helter-Shelter is superbly written. Prashan Ranasinghe shows an adept ability to synthesize and offer clarity to an oft-complex literature and set of frameworks. It is not easy to make sense of Lefebvre, Jamieson, and Bachelard, and Ranasinghe accomplishes the delicate balance between clarity while retaining the nuances offered by these authors. Ranasinghe beautifully manages to weave these and other authors on space into his analysis of the ethic of care without the reader feeling like they have been hit over the head.”

Dale Spencer, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University


Helter-Shelter is an ethnographic account of the manner in which an emergency shelter is governed on a daily basis, from the perspective of the personnel who are employed and tasked with providing care.

Prashan Ranasinghe focuses on how the founding ethos of the shelter, an ethic of care, is conceptualized and practiced by examining its successes and failures. Ranasinghe reveals how this logic is diluted and adulterated because of two other important logics, security and legality, which, working alongside, take precedence and trump the import of care. The care that is deployed is heavily legalized and securitized and it is also administered inconsistently and idiosyncratically. As a result, disorder and confusion pervade the shelter.

Helter-Shelter offers a unique perspective on the delivery of care, and how this laudable intention faces such daunting challenges.


List of Figures


Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Locating the Shelter, Locating an Ethic of Care

Chapter 3. An Inside (and Closer) Look at the Shelter: Spatial Tactics and the Aesthetics of an Ethic of Care

Chapter 4. From the Mundane to the Chaotic: The (Un)Making of an Ethic of Care

Chapter 5. The Securitization of an Ethic of Care and the Administration of Chaos

Chapter 6. Gendered Security and a Gendered Ethic of Care

Chapter 7. The Logic of Legality and Administration of Chaos

Chapter 8. From the Laughable to the Ridiculous: The Example of “Zero-Tolerance”

Chapter 9. Conclusion






About the Author:

Prashan Ranasinghe is an associate professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa.

Target Audience:

Useful for people interested in anthropology.


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