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Practicing Intersectionality: Brazilian Domestic Workers’ Strategies of Building Alliances and Mobilizing Identity

Acciari, L; (2021) Practicing Intersectionality: Brazilian Domestic Workers’ Strategies of Building Alliances and Mobilizing Identity. Latin American Research Review , 56 (1) pp. 67-81. 10.25222/larr.594. Green open access

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Abstract

Domestic workers, as essentially black women in highly precarious conditions, lacking social protection, and often not recognized as proper workers, are considered particularly hard, or even impossible, to organize compared to the “standard” male industrial worker. Yet they have been mobilizing for decades in several countries, including Brazil, where they won new labor rights in 2015. Through an ethnographic study of domestic workers’ unions in Brazil, I argue that what has made their mobilization possible is precisely the intersectional dimension of their oppression. While gender, race, and class have produced multiple forms of exclusion, these vectors of oppression have also enabled domestic workers to build alliances with women’s, black, and workers’ movements, thus giving domestic workers more visibility and more resources to organize their members. I have identified three forms of alliance building, each determined by domestic workers’ unions’ particular framing of gender, race, and class issues: rigid autonomy, critical alliance, and encompassing unionism.

Type: Article
Title: Practicing Intersectionality: Brazilian Domestic Workers’ Strategies of Building Alliances and Mobilizing Identity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.25222/larr.594
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.25222/larr.594
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125912
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