Uneasy passages between neoliberalism and feminism: Social inclusion and financialization in Israel's empowerment microfinance

Adriana Kemp, Nitza Berkovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article focuses on feminist non-governmental organizations advocating for economic empowerment of women (EEW) through microfinance, using Israel as a case study. Through fieldwork, interviews and documents, we investigate the institutional practices, cultural discourses and struggles that EEWs develop in order to expose the particular ways in which feminist organizations interact with the world of finance and state institutions. Our analysis points to the complex power dynamics of mediation, suggesting that there are ‘uneasy passages' between neoliberalism and feminism, ones that help re-signify the meaning of financial discourses while re-politicizing women's social and economic exclusions. Simultaneously, however, this relation induces a series of compromises, whereby EEWs adopt neoliberal modes of governance. Rejecting the notion that contemporary feminism has simply been co-opted by neoliberalism or the perception of EEW microfinance as a mere expansion of neoliberal rationalities, we reveal new sites and ways in which feminism both colludes and collides with neoliberalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-526
Number of pages20
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • empowerment
  • feminism
  • financialization
  • microfinance
  • neoliberalism

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