In the first book of its kind, Bassel and Emejulu explore minority women’s experiences of and resistances to austerity measures in France and Britain. Minority women are often portrayed as passive victims. However, Minority women and austerity demonstrates how they use their race, class, gender and legal status as a resource for collective action in the face of the neoliberal colonisation of non-governmental organisations, the failures of left-wing politics and the patronising initiatives of policy-makers.
Using in-depth case studies, this book explores the changing relations between the state, the market and civil society which create opportunities and dilemmas for minority women activists. Through an intersectional ‘politics of survival’ these women seek to subvert the dominant narratives of ‘crisis’ and ‘activism’.
Leah Bassel is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Leicester. Her research interests include the political sociology of gender, migration, race and citizenship and she is author of Refugee Women: Beyond Gender versus Culture (Routledge, 2012) and The Politics of Listening: Possibilities and Challenges for Democratic Life (Palgrave, 2017). Before pursuing an academic career Leah provided humanitarian assistance to asylum seekers and created a circus camp project for refugee youth. She is the Assistant Editor of the journal Citizenship Studies.
Akwugo Emejulu is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. Her research interests include the political sociology of race, gender and the grassroots activism of women of colour in Europe and America. Her first book, Community Development as Micropolitics: Comparing Theories, Policies and Politics in America and Britain was published by Policy Press in 2015. Her work has appeared in Politics & Gender, Race & Class and the Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies. Before entering academia, Akwugo worked as a community organiser, a participatory action researcher and as a trade union organiser in America and Britain.
Foreword by Patricia Hill Collins
Taking minority women's activism seriously
Theorising and resisting 'political racelessness' in Europe
Whose crisis counts?
The politics of survival
Learning across cases, learning beyond 'cases'
Conclusion: warning signs
"This book's focus on minority women's agency and resistance makes a valuable contribution to research on crisis and austerity." Majella Kilkey, University of Sheffield
"For detailed, original analyses of minority women’s activism and claims-making in this Europe of austerity politics, read this excellent book." Khursheed Wadia, University of Warwick, UK
"Brings a theoretically sophisticated intersectional approach to interviews with minority ethnic women activists and policy officers and illuminates the multi-faceted ways in which the women experience and resist often patronising initiatives. The insights are compelling and repay close reading. It is hoped that future initiatives will start from the insights it provides." Ann Phoenix, University College London