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Minority Women and AusteritySurvival and Resistance in France and Britain$
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Leah Bassel and Akwugo Emejulu

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447327134

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447327134.001.0001

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The politics of survival

The politics of survival

(p.77) Five The politics of survival
Minority Women and Austerity

Leah Bassel

Akwugo Emejulu

Policy Press

In this chapter we explore minority women’s strategies for survival in informal spaces: self help groups, DIY networks and grassroots community organisations, as well as our participants’ personal narratives of and reflections on coping within neoliberal third sector organisations. Throughout this book ‘activism’ is defined broadly in order to capture the diverse ways in which minority women assert themselves as political agents. We argue that minority women’s activism is either misrecognised or erased by the white left. Given this hostility to a politics that is organised on the basis of race, gender and legal status, this problematises the solidarity work that minority women activists seek to build with their white counterparts as well as ignoring the political dimensions of selfcare. We centre the activism of minority women and note that it is often connected to third sector spaces and should not be dismissed as ‘inauthentic’ for this reason. We conclude by demanding that this politics of survival be recognised as a first step toward solidarity and alliances.

Keywords:   Patricia Hill Collins, Politics of survival, Activism, White Left, Intersectional social justice claims, Self care, Emotions, Care work, Solidarity

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