Working Against Many Grains: Rethinking Difference, Emancipation and Agency in the Counter-Discourse of an Ethnic Minority Women’s Organisation in Belgium

Nella van den Brandt, Chia Longman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this article, we aim to contribute to feminist academic debates about multiculturalism and secularism/religion by drawing upon an analysis of an ethnic minority women’s organisation in Belgium that has been active since 1999: ella. The analysis focuses upon the way in which ella constructs notions of empowerment and emancipation by discussing structural inequalities, cultural-ethnic values and religious authority and identity. First, we look at how ella formulates its ideas about the emancipation trajectories of minoritised women and the potential role of religious belonging. Second, we look at ella’s discussion of religious interpretation and gender/sexual diversity. Here, we explore assumptions about the relationship between religious authority and minoritised women’s and LGBTQs’ desires and pursuit for knowledge. We conclude by considering ella as an affirmative-critical actor of multiculturalism, and an implicit agent of religious reform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-529
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Compass
Volume64
Issue number4
Early online date5 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Keywords

  • agency
  • difference
  • emancipation
  • ethnic minority women’s organisation
  • multiculturalism
  • religion

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