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Nomadic Subjects: young black women in Britain

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This paper reads the fragmented life stories of four young black women in the UK, at a transitional point of their lives, when they are making decisions about their post-compulsory education. We argue that the notion of nomadism is a useful, albeit not unproblematic, tool to theorize the multifarious ways that these black young women negotiate subject positions, make choices and shape their lives. We further trace how these women are struggling against fixity and unity and attempting to speak and act outside or beyond the positions available within the collectivities to which they belong. Finally, we point out that in travelling around unstable and contradictory subject positions they are sometimes caught up within fears of distortion, and ultimately choose to remain 'at home'. This 'home', however, is rather formless and uncentred and, far from being easily localizable and defined, interrogates ideas and perceptions about territories and borders. It is through this 'new image', that we can perhaps start thinking about 'being at home' in different ways, beyond restrictions and limitations of families, classes, gender groups, races or nations.
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Document Type: Forum Article

Publication date: 01 December 2002

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