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Workable Sisterhood is an empirical look at sixteen HIV-positive women who have a history of drug use, conflict with the law, or a history of working in the sex trade. What makes their experience with the HIV/AIDS virus and their political participation different from their counterparts of people with HIV? Michele Tracy Berger argues that it is the influence of a phenomenon she labels "intersectional stigma," a complex process by which women of color, already experiencing race, class, and gender oppression, are also labeled, judged, and given inferior treatment because of their status as drug users, sex workers, and HIV-positive women.
The work explores the barriers of stigma in relation to political participation, and demonstrates how stigma can be effectively challenged and redirected.
The majority of the women in Berger's book are women of color, in particular African Americans and Latinas. The study elaborates the process by which these women have become conscious of their social position as HIV-positive and politically active as activists, advocates, or helpers. She builds a picture of community-based political participation that challenges popular, medical, and scholarly representations of "crack addicted prostitutes" and HIV-positive women as social problems or victims, rather than as agents of social change. Berger argues that the women's development of a political identity is directly related to a process called "life reconstruction." This process includes substance- abuse treatment, the recognition of gender as a salient factor in their lives, and the use of nontraditional political resources.
The struggles African American women and their adolescent daughters face in living healthy, active lives
From heart disease and diabetes to HIV and obesity, Black women and girls face serious health risks, lagging behind their white counterparts by every measure of health, well-being, and fitness. In Black Women’s Health, Michele Tracy Berger shows us why this is the case, exploring how the health needs of Black women and girls are uniquely rooted in their experiences with racism, sexism, and class discrimination.
Drawing on interviews with mothers and their daughters, as well as compelling medical data, Berger provides insight into the larger patterns that place Black women at such high risk on a national level. She shows how Black mothers communicate with their daughters about health, sexuality, and intimacy, including how they attempt to promote healthy living standards even as they navigate widespread, systemic challenges.
Ultimately, Berger highlights the important role that family—and specifically, the relationship between mothers and daughters—plays in improving public health outcomes. Black Women’s Health takes a much-needed, intimate look at how Black women and girls navigate different paths to wellness.
Transforming Scholarship offers an essential guide to one of the most richly rewarding yet often under-appreciated academic majors: Women's and Gender Studies.
This fully updated and revised third edition answers the question of what you can do with a women’s and gender studies degree with resounding authority. Chapters include exercises and valuable point-of-view segments with recent graduates and academics to help students realize their many talents and passions and how these may be linked to future professional opportunities. Students are also encouraged to reflect on the ways in which their efforts in the classroom can be translated into a life guided by feminism, civic engagement, and activism with updates such as:
- A focus on activism that resulted from socio-political movements in the 2010s–2020, such as #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) and the #MeToo Movement;
- An examination of the impact of COVID-19 on the academic and socio-cultural environment and career opportunities for graduates;
- An exploration of increased acceptance of social justice and feminist perspectives;
- Highlighting of intersectional identities of WGST students and faculty.
Transforming Scholarship is an ideal counterpart and companion for capstone courses in women’s and gender studies, and for those who have finished their degree and are looking for invaluable advice while pondering, "What’s next?"