By Sallie Westwood, Parminder Bhachu
"Enterprising girls" brings jointly black and white British girls in a set that confronts stereotypes of black British ladies and former money owed in their lives.
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Extra resources for Enterprising Women
In raising issues we have struggled with a language which consistently reinforces stereotypes by creating sections of the population, both women and men as ‘others’. To be ‘other’ is to be outside, to be deviant, and it allows racism to construct the categories in which understandings will be couched. Although the use of ‘black’ has been appropriated by black people and made powerful through its politicization, Cypriots, together with many Chinese and South Asians, do not designate themselves as black and we have not therefore used this as a general designation.
Sasha Josephides is of Greek Cypriot descent, Pnina Werbner is an Israeli woman, and Annie Phizacklea, Sallie Westwood, and Geoff Raw are all white British. In this book we have not sought to gloss over differences, we regard them as part of a continuing debate which itself celebrates the lives of all women in Britain. The contributors, like us, are committed to understanding the lives of minority women as simultaneously an expression of difference and similarity. We hope, therefore, that this book will provide the materials whereby an understanding can be built of both the specificities of minority women’s lives and the commonalities between them and those of white British women.
In an attempt to unravel the complexities of social change many of the papers in this volume (including those that address the issues of changing networks) have emphasized the way in which ethnography is crucial to our understanding of the lives of all women in Britain today. Anthropology has long striven for theoretical complexity, but it has remained committed to a methodology and an account of social forms which is grounded in the substantive lives of people. We believe that it is important for feminism to take note of ethnographic materials and to integrate these within current discourses so as to move the debates forward.