Feminist praxis, citizenship and informal politics: Reflections on South Africa's anti-eviction campaign

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

This article focuses on the Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) in Cape Town, South Africa, which is part of the larger anti-privatization movement, mobilized by disadvantaged township residents to assert their constitutional rights and resist evictions and service disconnections. It introduces the mutually constituted concepts of invited and invented spaces of citizenship and stresses the range of grassroots actions spanning those. The article also sheds light on the gender dynamics of the Campaign and how its patriarchal order is being destabilized. The AEC case study engages the pioneering feminist scholarship on citizenship that has embraced both formal and informal arenas of politics. The study points out the risk in constructing yet another binary relation between grassroots coping strategies (in invited spaces) and resistance strategies (in invented spaces). The article calls for a refinement of feminists' extended notion of politics, recognizing the oppositional practices of the poor in order to construct an inclusive citizenship. It argues that doing so better reflects the practices of the grassroots and furthers a progressive feminist praxis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-218
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Feminist Journal of Politics
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Fingerprint

citizenship
campaign
politics
privatization
coping
town
resident
gender
Citizenship
South Africa
Praxis
Residents
Township
Coping Strategies
Privatization
Cape Town

Keywords

  • Citizenship
  • Civil society
  • Eviction
  • Gender
  • Grassroots
  • Privatization
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

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abstract = "This article focuses on the Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) in Cape Town, South Africa, which is part of the larger anti-privatization movement, mobilized by disadvantaged township residents to assert their constitutional rights and resist evictions and service disconnections. It introduces the mutually constituted concepts of invited and invented spaces of citizenship and stresses the range of grassroots actions spanning those. The article also sheds light on the gender dynamics of the Campaign and how its patriarchal order is being destabilized. The AEC case study engages the pioneering feminist scholarship on citizenship that has embraced both formal and informal arenas of politics. The study points out the risk in constructing yet another binary relation between grassroots coping strategies (in invited spaces) and resistance strategies (in invented spaces). The article calls for a refinement of feminists' extended notion of politics, recognizing the oppositional practices of the poor in order to construct an inclusive citizenship. It argues that doing so better reflects the practices of the grassroots and furthers a progressive feminist praxis.",
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