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Title: Other kinds of dreams : black women's organisations and the politics of transformation
Author: Sudbury, Julia
ISNI:       0000 0001 0968 6916
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1997
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Sociological accounts of political activism in African Caribbean and Asian communities in Britain have largely overlooked the role of black women as agents and have contributed toward an image of passivity, apathy and exclusion. This thesis examines the black women's organisations which have emerged since the early 1970s. Drawing on unpublished materials from over 30 organisations, participant observation at conferences and meetings and semi-structured interviews with 25 women activists. the thesis provides evidence that black women have been highly politically active despite immense barriers, both internal and external to their communities. This thesis explores the relevance of theoretical insights on identity formation, diversity and difference to black women's organising. I argue that black women's organisations have used a variety of strategies to manage the tension between the desire for a nuanced and differentiated notion of black womanhood and the need for political unity. In so arguing, I explore recent attacks on the term 'black', and identify a number of strengths in its continuing usage as a political and cultural definition. I also explore the extent to which increasing social stratification within black communities has the potential to undermine this unity and to create incompatible personal and organisational goals. Finally, I examine coalition building between black women and black men, white women and the labour movement. I identify a number of barriers to effective partnership but argue that there are a range of recent developments which may open up the possibility of building coalitions for social transformation. In conclusion, I argue that black women have formed independent organisations on the basis of a broad-based and visionary politics of transformation which has a number of unifying elements. These factors form the basis of a strategic unity which they have forged across differences of ethnicity, religion, nationality, class and sexuality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; HT Communities. Classes. Races ; JN Political institutions (Europe)