Caring subjects: Migrant women and the third sector in Scotland and England

Leah Bassel, Akwugo Emejulu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We situate racialised migrant mothers as political actors in the landscape of austerity in England and Scotland. We explore the possibilities of a politics around caring work. We ask: what ‘caring subjects’ are possible, under austerity? A ‘politics of care’ can challenge the dichotomy between private caring and public citizenship practices (Erel 2011). However, we argue that the shift from a ‘culture of care’ to a ‘culture of cuts’ poses significant challenges to this politics in third sector spaces, particularly when processes of racialization are brought to the fore. We move beyond ‘reductionist economism’ to explore how the current economic crisis is also one of social relations. The re-privatization of caring and reproductive work generates new forms of subjectivity and social reproduction (Hajek and Opratko 2015). Within the supposed ‘monolith’ of neoliberalism, a multiplicity of subjectivities are engendered which open some spaces for resistance and subversion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-54
Number of pages19
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Early online date20 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jun 2017


  • migrant women
  • racialisation
  • austerity
  • England
  • Scotland


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