Roman Catholic women's congregations are an enigma of nineteenth century social history. Over 10,000 women, establishing and managing significant Catholic educational, health care and social welfare institutions in England and Wales, have virtually disappeared from history. In nineteenth-century England, representations of women religious were ambiguous and contested from both within and without the convent. This book places women religious in the centre of nineteenth-century social history and reveals how religious activism shaped the identity of Catholic women religious. It is devoted to evolution of religious life and the early monastic life of the women. Catholic women were not pushed into becoming women religious. On the basis of their available options, they chose a path that best suited their personal, spiritual, economic and vocational needs. The postulancy and novitiate period formed a rite of passage that tested the vocation of each aspirant. The book explores the religious activism of women religious through their missionary identity and professional identity. The labour of these women was linked to their role as evangelisers. The book deals with the development of a congregation's corporate identity which brought together a disparate group of women under the banner of religious life. It looks specifically at class and ethnicity and the women who entered religious life, and identifies the source of authority for the congregation and the individual sister.
families’ against people struggling to survive on benefits. Political and business
leaders are adept at playing one group off against another and keeping both in
‘their place’: skilled against unskilled, men against women and, of course, people
from one ethnicbackground against another. When racialisation is used to justify
a group of people getting lower wages or worse housing, the majority white
working class do not benefit – but they are fed racist myths to win their support
for a system that exploits them too, just not as much. In a competitive labour
side, they thought, ‘This is the time we can utilise them.’ They came and said, ‘Why
don’t you become a member we’ll help you?’19
The inclusion of people from all ethnicbackgrounds can also be seen as
flowing directly from leftist ideology – both from socialist universalism and from
the developing support for identity politics – and the view of these events from
the left is a little different from many Bengali perceptions. At that time, Labour
ruled over Tower Hamlets almost unopposed and its entrenched, relatively rightwing leadership clung fiercely to power
more fully.37 Kautsky was consistently supportive of Jewish
socialist movements, such as the General Union of Jewish Workers in Lithuania,
Poland and Russia, or Bund, but he also insisted on the importance of avoiding
isolation, and saw the Jewish movements as a transitional step towards a time
when separate Jewish socialist institutions would be redundant.
During the last century, similar arguments were taken up by Marxists of all
ethnicbackgrounds and especially those fighting colonial or racial oppression.
However, as in the Bengali examples in this history, many
.e. enrollment at age-specific appropriate
levels of education between seventeen and thirty years of age), students
from Bangladeshi backgrounds had the lowest participation rates among
minority ethnic groups (35 per cent) in 2001/2. The latter is particularly
important because black and ethnic minorities students have a higher
level of initial participation (described in policy documents as the Higher
Education Initial Participation Rate - HEIPR).52
Poverty is endemic among the Bangladeshis. This is partly due to
their time of arrival: ‘The bulk of Bangladeshi immigration
variety of backgrounds and faiths within
their day-to-day education’ (Garner, 2009).
23 See www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVKssm5E2no.
The backlash against multiculturalism143
Asari, E.-M., Halikiopoulu D. and Mock, S. (2008). British national identity and the
dilemmas of multiculturalism. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 14(1), 1–28.
Balibar, E. (2004). We, the people of Europe? Reflections on transnational citizenship, trans.
J. Swenson. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.
Barry, B. (2001). Culture and equality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
63 Sister M. Spinola entered with a dowry of £30; Sr M. Bernard did not contribute
64 SMG: I/A3, letter dated 4 January 1898 from Frances Taylor to Mother Aloysius
Austin (Margaret Busher).
65 These seventy-two women lived to an average age of sixty-four.
66 Marta Danylewycz, Taking the Veil: An Alternative to Marriage, Motherhood,
and Spinsterhood in Quebec, 1840–1920 (Toronto, Canada: McClelland and
Stewart, 1987), p. 99.
Class and ethnicity
Table 7.5 Occupational groupings and leadership of professed sisters in
the Daughters of Charity of St
immigrants still suffer disproportionately from
social and economic inequality, and there is still a long way to go to achieve full
and equal development of the potential of all citizens and equal respect as well
as recognition for all groups, particularly those from racialised groups (Hyman
et al. 2011).
Religion and multiculturalism in Canada
This examination of state multicultural policy and practice in Canada suggests
that its emphasis on differing and diverse ethnic and national backgrounds has
sidelined the significance of religion in perceptions of the overall
: these are the enemies
of the people and must be fought – if they are a Jew, black or white. And this helped
to develop a much more broader understanding and [to unite] the struggle against
Mosley and the fascists.95
The strength of the movement came from its ability to unite working-class
people of different ethnicbackgrounds, and the communists were always anxious
to stress its inclusivity. Simon Blumenfeld’s rent-strike play, Enough of All This!,
which was written and performed at the time, has the Jewish Secretary of the
Stepney Tenants’ Defence League, Tubby
, Paul Boateng and Keith Vaz – from the
Labour Party were elected in the 1987 elections. One of these new
members Keith Vaz was the first South Asian in post-war Britain to win
a seat in parliament.146 The number grew slightly in the election of 1992:
altogether five members of non-white ethnicbackground were elected, of
whom two were of South Asian background. These numbers, of course,
did not reflect the share of South Asians and/or of the ethnic minorities
in the British population. These communities remained marginalized in
the political arena.