Antonio R. López | Journal of African American Studies
Migrant and refugee communities are at the forefront of highly feminised and precarious community sector work. Facing insecure labour contracts and contingent, competitive funding for activities, these communities routinely move between paid and unpaid work. Drawing on multi-sited and participatory ethnographic research and 30 semi-structured interviews with women of different African backgrounds living and working in western Sydney, this article explores the relationship between collective sharing practices and life as precarious workers. The sharing of material resources, information and support takes place beyond designated ‘workplaces’ and on a continuum of activity that moves between the formal and informal, public and private, productive and socially reproductive. This article uses a practice-based approach to foreground the social world of working migrant women. In doing so, it sheds light on the hidden, precarious work of an increasingly marketised community sector and the everyday and emergent ways that marginalised communities respond to precarious work under neoliberalism.