Unsettling Settler Societies: Articulations of Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Class


Edited by: Daiva Stasiulis & Nira Yuval-Davis

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  • SAGE Series on Race and Ethnic Relations

    Series Editor:


    College of William and Mary

    This series is designed for scholars working in creative theoretical areas related to race and ethnic relations. The series will publish books and collections of original articles that critically assess and expand upon race and ethnic relations issues from American and comparative points of view.


    • Robert Blauner
    • William Liu
    • Jomills N. Braddock II
    • Stanford M. Lyman
    • Scott Cummings
    • Gary Marx
    • Rutledge Dennis
    • Robert Miles
    • Leonard Dinncrstein
    • Rebecca Morales
    • Reynolds Farley
    • Chester Pierce
    • Joe Feagin
    • Vicki L. Ruiz
    • Barry Glassner
    • Gary D. Sandefur
    • Ruth S. Hamilton
    • Diana Slaughter
    • Dell Hymes
    • C. Matthew Snipp
    • James Jackson
    • John Stone
    • Roy Bryce Laporte
    • Bruce Williams
    • Paul Gordon Lauren
    • Melvin D. Williams

    Volumes in this series include

    • Roger Waldinger, Howard Aldrich, Robin Ward, and Associates, ETHNIC ENTREPRENEURS: Immigrant Business in Industrial Societies
    • Philomena Essed, UNDERSTANDING EVERYDAY RACISM: An Interdisciplinary Theory
    • Samuel V. Duh, BLACKS AND AIDS: Causes and Origins
    • Steven J. Gold, REFUGEE COMMUNITES: A Comparative Field Study
    • Mary E. Andereck, ETHNIC AWARENESS AND THE SCHOOL: An Ethnographic Study
    • Rebecca Morales and Frank Bonilla, LATINOS IN A CHANGING U.S. ECONOMY: Comparative Perspectives on Growing Inequality
    • Gerhard Schutte, WHAT RACISTS BELIEVE: Race Relations in South Africa and the United States Today
    • Stephen Burman, THE BLACK PROGRESS QUESTION: Explaining the African-American Predicament
    • Bette J. Dickerson, AFRICAN-AmericaN SINGLE MOTHERS: Understanding Their Lives and Families


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    During the past 30 years, scholars have become increasingly interested in comparative race and ethnic studies. Especially during the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, there was much debate about the comparative characteristics of societies created through European-descent domination and exploitation. Most of these attempts to define and study such ‘settler societies’ dead-ended with efforts in developing historically static topologies portraying idealized frozen states of such societies. The lack of sophisticated attention paid to the complexities and material dialectics of historical processes as well as imbalances in status analyses resulted in a comparative literature of plural and/or settler societies which was grossly inadequate.

    The major consequence of the absence of material dialectical historical analysis in settler society research has been the neglect of or, better yet, the oversimplification of the roles of the consciousness, movements and political economic contributions of the racialized oppressed in the formation of such societies. The imbalance in status analyses has meant the focus on affluent male-centric issues regarding the roles of dominant and oppressed populations in the construction of European-descent settler societies.

    This book fills an important gap in the comparative race and ethnicity field. It offers sophisticated case-by-case societal and regional level analyses of the historical materialistic dynamics behind the construction and transformation of settler societies. The roles of women, people of colour, indigenous people and the poor are centred in efforts to establish a more complex and accurate perspective on the histories, politics and social organization of settler societies around the world. The Introduction offers an inviting theoretical overview of issues which cannot help but begin to change the minds of many scholars who have assumed that the last word has been written on the sociological and political nature of settler societies.

    John H.Stanfield II Race and Ethnic Relations Editor


    The vast historical and geographical scope of this book required feedback from many expert readers. The following friends and colleagues, each experts on the different case studies in the book, graciously agreed to read and comment on individual chapters, indicated in the parentheses. For their thorough, detailed and incisive comments on various drafts of the chapters, we would like to thank: Abigail Bakan (Canada); Jacky Cock (South Africa); Avishai Ehrlich (Palestine/Israel); Cynthia Enloe (United States); Marie de Lepervanche (Australia); Marie-Aimée Hélie-Lucas (Algeria); Rosemary du Plessis (New Zealand); Donna Pankhurst and Terence Ranger (Zimbabwe); Marilyn Thompson and Judith Moe (Mexico); Gina Vargas (Peru); and Radha Jhappan and Wendy Lamer who read the Introduction. We also wish to thank Margaret Phillips for her research and assistance on the Introduction and the chapter on Canada. The responsibility for the contents of the text, however, is strictly that of the authors.

    We also wish to acknowledge John H. Stanfield II and Stephen Barr, Karen Phillips and Rosemary Campbell from Sage for their sustained support and encouragement in getting on with this ambitious and difficult endeavour. We are grateful for the financial support of the British Council (Canada) and Carleton University (GR-6)

    This book is dedicated to all those who are involved in progressive struggles to transform settler societies beyond dichotomies.

    Biographical Notes

    Nahla Abdo is a Palestinian living in Canada. She is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Carleton University, Ottawa. She has published extensively on women, the political economy and politics in the Middle East. She is currently conducting research into women, law and democratization in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    Natividad Gutiérrez is a sociologist who teaches theories and problems of nationalism at the London School of Economics. She is a founding member of the Association of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN). She is currently undertaking research on the critical responses of ethnic groups to the nation-building project. Her other research interests include the rise of ethic intelligentsia, women and nationalism and the militarization of indigenous peoples.

    Anissa Helie was born in Algeria on February 24, 1964 — the day of nationalization of oil in Algeria. Her parents were involved in the national liberation struggle and she comes from a line of feminist women — mother, grandmother, great aunt and great grandmother. After completing secondary education in Algeria, an MA on Women's History in France and an MA in Women's Studies in Holland, she is currently finishing a PhD in Women's History on European women primary school teachers during colonization in Algeria. She is working within the international solidarity group, Women Living Under Muslim Laws, where she has been handling many solidarity campaigns.

    Susie Jacobs was born in Houston, Texas. She studied at the London School of Economics and obtained her D.Phil, at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. She has worked in northeastern areas of Zimbabwe and has published various articles on aspects of gender, land and the state in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. She currently teaches sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

    Dolores Janiewski holds a Senior Lectureship in US History at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Among her previous publications are Sisterhood Denied: Race, Gender and Class in a New South Community (Temple University Press, 1985, 1993) and various articles dealing with labour history, women's history and race relations. She is currently working on Passion, Power and Punishment: Citizenship and Criminality in North Carolina, 1866–1932 (University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming). Her other research interests include gender, colonization, Native Americans and settler societies from a comparative perspective. She received her PhD in History from Duke University in 1979.

    Radha Jhappan is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Carleton University, Ottawa. Born and raised in Guyana of Indian and Irish parents, and educated in England, she has published many papers on the politics of indigenous peoples and specializes in law and constitutional politics.

    Wendy Larner was a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. She is currently a Commonwealth Scholar at Carleton University, Ottawa. Her research is on economic globalization, restructuring, and changing sexual and spatial divisions of labour.

    Jan Jindy Pettman is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the Australian National University. She has recently published Living in the Margins: Racism, Sexism and Feminism in Australia and is currently writing a book on gender and international politics.

    Sarah A. Radcliffe lectures in Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the co-editor of Viva: Women and Popular Protest in Latin America (Routledge, 1993).

    Paul Spoonley is Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Social Sciences at Massey University's Auckland campus at Albany, as well as a member of the Department of Sociology. He is the author or editor of 16 books including Racism and Ethnicity (Oxford University Press, 1993) and New Zealand Society (Dunmore Press, 1994), as well as an editor of New Zealand Sociology. His current research is on the labour market participation of Maori, right-wing extremism and the politics of majority/dominant groups.

    Daiva Stasiulis is Associate Professor of Sociology at Carleton University, Ottawa. Born in Canada of Lithuanian and Estonian parents, she has written extensively on racism, multiculturalism, and the responses of the state, the feminist and other social movements to ethnic diversity and racism. Her current research includes an investigation of domestic workers and nurses from the Philippines and West Indies which explores the racial and gender boundaries of citizenship. She is co-editor of Not One of the Family: Foreign Domestic Workers in Canada (University of Toronto Press, forthcoming).

    Elaine Unterhalter is the Director of Research on Education in Southern Africa (RESA) based at the Institute of Education, University of London. She was born in South Africa and educated in South Africa and Britain. She has written on the experience of colonial rule in Zululand. South African women's organization and education in South Africa. She co-edited the writings of the Women in South African History (WISH) group and two collections on the transformation of South African education. Apartheid Education and Popular Struggles (Rauan, 1991) and Education in a Future South Africa: Policy Issues far Transformation (Heinemann. 1991).

    Nira Yuval-Davis is an Israeli who lives in London where she is a Reader in Gender and Ethnic Studies at the University of Greenwich. She has written extensively on women, nationalism, racism and fundamentalism mainly in Israel and Britain. Among others, she co-edited Woman-Nation-State (Macmillan, 1989) and Refusing Holy Orders: Women and Fundamentalism in Britain (Virago, 1992) and has co-written Racialized Boundaries: Race, Nation, Gender, Colour and Class and the Anti-Racist Struggle (Routledge, 1992). She is currently finishing Gender and Nation (Sage, forthcoming).

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