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Title: Navigating (in)visibility : the everyday lives of African women in crisis Greece
Author: Zaphiriou-Zarifi, Viki
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 2111
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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Migrant women in Greece are not often seen as independent, active agents. A prevailing tendency to focus on men and families among academic researchers and policymakers alike, renders them largely invisible. When it comes to African women, however, processes of gendered racialization operate to make them also hyper-visible in stereotypical ways: as oppressed wives and mothers, uneducated domestic workers, and sexualised and/or dangerous Others. In a country in which national identity and belonging are strongly racialized, African women have long been subjected to processes of legal abjectification. In recent years, austerity, high unemployment and increasing anti-migrant sentiment have intensified their vulnerability in multiple ways. This thesis explores some of the more neglected aspects of economic crisis and migration in Greece. A feminist ethnographic enquiry that goes beyond traditional depictions of victimhood and dependency, it engages with the often hidden and complex lives of real women. Adopting a translocational analysis that considers women's agency within contexts of social relations and structural power, the research illuminates how participants experience and respond to processes of legal abjectification and gendered racism in their everyday lives. Women are shown to deploy a variety of tactics aimed towards securing livable lives in terms of both material conditions and social intelligibility. They cope, adapt, negotiate and resist, often using - and sometimes disrupting - the modes of recognition available to them. The research illustrates how, in contrast to perceptions of them as 'bodies out of place', women create a sense of belonging in Athens. They do so not only through everyday home-making practices, but also by collectively mobilising to claim rights, counter processes of marginalisation and challenge who can and cannot belong.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral