Working effectively with African Caribbean young women: an intersectional approach

Douglas, Jenny (2019). Working effectively with African Caribbean young women: an intersectional approach. In: Robb, Martin; Montgomery, Heather and Thomson, Rachel eds. Critical Practice with Children and Young People (2nd ed). Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 91–108.

URL: https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/critic...

Abstract

To work effectively with young African-Caribbean women, professionals and practitioners in health, social care, youth work and education must have some understanding of the lives and contexts of young black women in the United Kingdom. In relation to the research on young people in the UK, young black women have been largely invisible. The focus in the academic literature has been on young African-Caribbean men. Here young African-Caribbean men are perceived as being low achievers in terms of education, involved in the criminal justice system as perpetrators of antisocial and violent crimes - mugging, shooting, involvement in gangs, and, more recently, knife crime - and users of mental health services. Young men are represented as being reluctant fathers, with no role models to look up to in their communities (Sewell, 1997; Reynolds, 2009). While this portrayal of young black men is negative and incorrect, young black women receive little attention.

This chapter aims to address the lack of focus on young African-Caribbean women. It outlines the history and experience of African-Caribbean young women in the UK and provides a demographic overview of African-Caribbean young women in the UK and provides a demographic overview of African-Caribbean young women, exploring their educational experiences and attainment. This review takes an intersectional approach, outlining current research on "race", ethnicity, gender and identity, and argues that African-Caribbean young women are invisiblised in social research on young people in the UK. It provides an illustration of the need for practitioners to take account of intersecting social identities, and secondarily shows the value of research as evidence to inform critical practice with children and young people.

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