Debates in France, Great Britain, Canada and the USA on the tensions between universalism and particularism have been centered on issues related to immigration, as well as ethno-racial, religious and gender diversity. At a time when the colonial matrix or “coloniality of power” (Anibal Quijano) is instrumental as far as race, gender and class relations are concerned, the forms of political, economic, social, religious, and cultural domination of France, Britain, Canada and the U.S. over their ethnic minorities, are more than ever sources of tensions. This has to be articulated with the oppression exercized by some ethnic minorities themselves on their most vulnerable members, especially on women and men who transgress the social, cultural, and religious norms of the group (Susan Moller Okin).
The feminist critique of multiculturalism, notably important in the UK, Canada and the U.S., and to a lesser extent in France, offers one the most useful and richest frameworks for the analysis of these phenomena. What is more, the analysis of the concept of ethnic group from « the historical structure of the capitalist world-economy » (Immanuel Wallerstein), allows us to understand the feminisation of poverty among migrants, hence the interest of linking economic development and gender. « World-system and patriarchal order are just one » (Rada Ivekovic). In the same way, racial and ethnic divisions can be viewed as a consequence of « economic antagonisms » (Poutignat and Streiff-Fenart) because of inequalities of power that partly originate in colonial relationships, and which has a different impact on men and women of a minority ethnic community.
First of all, this conference aims at exploring the ways in which each country deals with the tensions between multiculturalism (in its ethno-racial, socioeconomic, and/or religious dimensions) and gender. How do these four States face the conflicts linked to the articulation of racist, sexist and classist systems of domination. By which mechanisms are these systems of domination produced and reproduced by the concerned societies ? In which ways do “State multiculturalisms” conceive ethnic groups in terms of (cultural) recognition, (economic) redistribution, and (political) representation (Nancy Fraser), as well as the power relationships that exist within each group, in particular those related to gender ? Moreover, what are the relationships between “State feminism” (Helga Hernes) and “State multiculturalism” in each one of these countries ? How can we deal with “the paradox of multicultural vulnerability” (Ayelet Shachar) ? How can we adopt a deliberative approach of multiculturalism that is favourable to individual rights (Seyla Benhabib) ?
Secondly, in which ways do the most vulnerable members of the groups react to institutional responses and to group pressures? Given that “the identitarian dimensions of ethnicity are not likely to take into account women as subjects of their own existence” (Michel Wieviorka), what are the mechanisms of resistance to ethnic, class, religious or gender oppression, should it come from State and/or the ethnic group ? (Nacira Guénif). How do the oppressed individuals struggle against the internalization of the inferior status (Christine Delphy) imposed on them by the dominant societies and their own group ? In which way can sexism be racialized and become identitarian ? (Christelle Hamel).
Finally, to what extent are antiracist movements the allies of feminist movements ? Why does antiracism sometimes neglect gender-based claims in favour of religious and ethno-racial claims that are only beneficial to the interests of ethnic groups’ collective rights ? What can be the impact of these issues on the relationships between governments of the dominant societies and racialised ethnic feminists from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East, as well as on the relationships between the latter and “white” feminists ? Finally, does the fact of questioning and transforming gender-related power relations imply or not an opposition to ethnic, racial, and religious groups’ claims (Anne Phillips) ?
Contributions will deal with one or several of these topics in any one of the four countries, or may constitute a comparative study. The main disciplinary fields will be sociology, political science, philosophy, anthropology, economy and law. The oral presentations will be limited to 20mn. A selection of papers will be submitted to a Peer Review Committee for publication.
Scientific Board :
- Fauzia Ahmad (Université de Bristol)
- Paola Bacchetta (UC Berkeley)
- Christine Delphy (CNRS)
- Hassan El Menyawi (New York University)
- Romain Garbaye (Université de Paris 3)
- Ramon Grosfoguel (UC Berkeley)
- Nacira Guénif (Université de Paris 13)
- Christelle Hamel (INED)
- Gilles Lebreton (Université du Havre)
- Eléonore Lépinard (Université de Montréal)
- Mary Nash (Université de Barcelone)
- Michel Prum (Université Paris-Diderot)
- Jean-Paul Révauger (Université de Bordeaux 3)
- Martine Spensky (Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand)
- Philippe Vervaecke (Université de Lille 3).
1) Please send an English or French 400-word abstract and a resume before 2 January 2011.
2) The selection results will be sent on 30 January 2011.
3) Last date for sending a 6000-word paper : 25 April 2011.
The abstracts and papers should be sent to : firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
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