The Role of the State in Shaping Young Women’s Experiences of Austerity

Dabrowski, Vicki. 2018. The Role of the State in Shaping Young Women’s Experiences of Austerity. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis explores the gendered impact of austerity, contributing to an enhanced
understanding of women’s experiences of austerity. It approaches austerity as a set of
coexisting ideological (moral–political–economic) discourses and policies, that construct
gender in particular ways, and that have particular gendered social effects. This thesis
argues that it is vital to understand the workings of the state and the wider historical
legacies that helped to produce inequalities through material and symbolic violence,
since it is this context which frames how austerity is lived and felt in the everyday. This
thesis thus examines the symbiotic relationship between the states production and
legitimisation of austerity, and the ways in which it is experienced and articulated by
young women in their everyday lives. Exploratory and interpretative in nature, this study
draws on interviews and group discussions with sixty-one young women from different
classed and ‘racial’ backgrounds, aged between 18 and 35, in Leeds, London, and
Brighton during 2014 and 2015. Through this combination of qualitative methods, the
research highlights the multivalent ways in which difference contours women’s everyday
lives in the current context. This study demonstrates that the ways in which women
negotiate, navigate, speak about, question, reproduce, and resist austerity are impacted
by these differences.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Austerity, state, women, UK, class, moral-political-economic project

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



28 February 2018

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2018 13:35

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 12:04


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