Struggles over Land, Livelihood, and Future Possibilities: Reframing Displacement through Feminist Political Ecology

Citation:

Vaz-Jones Laura. 2018. “Struggles over Land, Livelihood, and Future Possibilities: Reframing Displacement through Feminist Political Ecology.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 43 (3): 711-35.

Author: Laura Vaz-Jones

Abstract:

In this article I challenge conventional conceptions of displacement, which focus narrowly on its large-scale, top-down, and physical dimensions. I draw on insights from feminist political ecology in order to reframe displacement as multiscalar, micropolitical, and differentiated. Drawing on fieldwork conducted on the Ithemba land occupation on the peripheries of Cape Town, South Africa, I examine how land-insecure people have contested their eviction by the state through everyday practices and ongoing negotiations that strengthen their presence on the land. In bringing a feminist political ecology approach to studies of displacement, I develop a more expansive theorization of displacement that accounts for the overlooked practices, bodies, spaces, and scales through which displacements occur. This intervention thereby seeks to better align theories of displacement with the messy and uneven ways people experience and contest the loss of their land, livelihoods, and future possibilities. 

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2018

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