Feminist theory, immigrant workers' stories, and counterhegemony in the United States today

Journal article


Apostolidis, Paul. (2008). Feminist theory, immigrant workers' stories, and counterhegemony in the United States today. Signs: journal of women in culture and society. 33(3), pp. 545 - 568. https://doi.org/10.1086/523706
AuthorsApostolidis, Paul
Abstract

[Extract] The Day without Immigrants and other marches and rallies in the spring of 2006 massively disrupted ordinary business in schools and offices across the country. Event organizers, among whom union officers and staff took the lead, had wagered that a general strike of immigrants and their sympathizers would shock the population at large into feeling the extent to which social institutions in the United States rely on immigrants in order to function. At the same time, they aimed to sensitize immigrants, particularly the undocumented, to their power as a collective force. Accordingly, novel, temporary spaces of political engagement took shape. For a brief time, people normally driven into the shadows to protect themselves from surveillance and deportation, and compelled to submit to severe exploitation, created an array of sites where they could begin to develop their own styles of opposition and visions of an altered “American” future. Yet before long these transient spaces had dissipated. The familiar, hegemonic surfaces of everyday life reappeared—the public parks and main streets once again free of “suspicious” congregations of brown faces—while business as usual reassumed its normal rhythms. Activists, too, turned toward advancing their agenda through regular, institutional means such as legislative and policy‐making processes rather than broadening the attempt to fashion innovative political spaces as a way of provoking change. Meanwhile, the protest coalition began to fragment along ethnic‐national lines. Asian participants in a national follow‐up convention voiced dismay that the event had been held mainly in Spanish, while the media aggravated tensions by dwelling on some protestors waving Mexican flags (Avila and Olivo 2006).

Year2008
JournalSigns: journal of women in culture and society
Journal citation33 (3), pp. 545 - 568
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
ISSN0097-9740
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1086/523706
Scopus EID2-s2.0-49249108061
Page range545 - 568
Research GroupInstitute for Social Justice
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/87x23/feminist-theory-immigrant-workers-stories-and-counterhegemony-in-the-united-states-today

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