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Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age$
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Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, Anna Romina Guevarra, and Maura Toro-Morn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037573

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037573.001.0001

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Immigrant Women Workers at the Center of Social Change

Immigrant Women Workers at the Center of Social Change

Asian Immigrant Women Advocates

(p.207) 11 Immigrant Women Workers at the Center of Social Change
Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age

Jennifer Jihye Chun

George Lipsitz

Young Shin

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the role that grassroots organizing and leadership development play in tackling social and economic inequalities along multiple axes of difference, including race, gender, immigration status, and language ability. It locates immigrant women workers at the center of social change by focusing on Asian Immigrant Women Advocates's (AIWA) self-reflexive organizing approach. AIWA is a grassroots community-based organization whose mission is to improve the living and working conditions of Asian immigrant women employed in low-paid and socially devalued jobs. AIWA's English-language dominance workshop embodies many of its core principles and organizing philosophy. The chapter analyzes AIWA's theory and method of change as well as its intersectional organizing approach, with particular emphasis on its English-language classes, workplace literacy classes, and Community Transformational Organizing Strategy (CTOS). It shows that AIWA produces new kinds of politics, polities, and personalities by placing immigrant women workers at the center of the struggle.

Keywords:   grassroots organizing, leadership development, immigrant women workers, social change, Asian Immigrant Women Advocates, social inequalities, low-paid work, economic inequalities, English-language classes, workplace literacy classes

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