Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Briana Toole

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© 2024 Yanxi (Scarlett) Liu


Homeless women have been forgotten subject matter in the study and practice of feminist consciousness and consciousness-raising efforts. However, they grapple with the compounded challenges of both gender and homelessness within an oppressive societal structure. This thesis therefore seeks to conceptualize the consciousness of women, and particularly homeless women, in a feminist lens. Specifically, this thesis explores the Othering of women’s consciousness through the intellectual lineage of Simone de Beauvoir and Hegel, and emphasizes the role of material circumstances in shaping consciousness-raising efforts. Then, this thesis examines two unique struggles faced by homeless women – survival sex and homeless motherhood. This thesis asserts that an oppressive gender structure has firmly entrenched women in an intrapsychic conflict, where the tension between their autonomous self and societal expectations of womanhood is exacerbated for homeless women. These individuals face the added burden of navigating the pressures of survival, often necessitating compromises on their independent consciousness for the sake of sustaining themselves. Finally, this thesis presents a preliminary framework for consciousness-raising among homeless women. It proposes structural changes and a consciousness of victimization to address the intricate interplay between gender norms and unique challenges faced by homeless women in pursuit of their self-realization.