Migrant mothers’ creative interventions into racialized citizenship

Erel, Umut; Reynolds, Tracey and Kaptani, Erene (2018). Migrant mothers’ creative interventions into racialized citizenship. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 41(1) pp. 55–72.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2017.1317825


Racialized migrant mothers are often cast as marginal to theoretical and political debates of citizenship, yet by taking seriously the contributions to cultural and caring citizenship they make, we challenge the racialized boundaries of citizenship. Drawing on theories of enacting citizenship, that is, challenging hegemonic narratives of who can legitimately claim to contribute to citizenship, we explore migrant women’s mothering through participatory theatre methods. Through analysis of participatory action research (PAR) with migrant mothers in London, we emphasize the significance of embodied and affective meanings for challenging racialized citizenship. The theatre methods allow participants to develop collective subjugated knowledges challenging racialized, gendered and classed stratifications of rights, burdens and privileges of caring citizenship. This draws attention to the important role of creativity of the self as an aspect of both cultural and care work for understanding racialized migrant mothers’ citizenship.

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