The presentation draws on a qualitative and comparative study of financial abuse among the Indian and Anglo-Celtic community in Australia. Drawing on women’s past experience of family violence, Supriya Singh will describe how the gender of money, that is the way men and women perceive, use, inherit, manage and control money, shapes the experience of financial abuse among Anglo-Celtic and migrant Indian women in Australia.
Men reinterpret gender stereotypes relating to money for coercive control. For instance, in the Indian community, men control money but without the accompanying traditional responsibility for family welfare. The husband uses the traditional family ownership of money to use his wife’s earnings for his own ends and extort money and property from the wife’s family. Financial abuse involves denying access to money, monitoring expenditure and appropriating property.
As with coercive control generally, it involves a pattern of sexual mastery that isolates, degrades, exploits, and controls women. In the United States, coercive control accounts for 60-80 percent of family violence. Migrant women are more vulnerable for they are isolated from networks of kin, friends and community.
Supriya Singh is a writer and sociologist. Supriya is Professor, Sociology of Communications at RMIT University in Melbourne. She grew up in Delhi, then moved to Malaysia for 19 years and has lived in Melbourne, Australia for the last 32 years. She is known internationally for her scholarship around money, gender, family and migration. She is also an experienced qualitative researcher. Her work has covered conflicts in families, including transnational families, around money, care and abuse. Her current research project is on Money, Gender and Financial Abuse across Cultures, comparing the experience of family violence in the Anglo-Celtic and Indian communities in Australia. It shows how the gender of money – that is the way women and men perceive, manage, control, inherit and use money – shapes financial abuse.
Her latest book Money, Migration and Family: India to Australia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) tells the story of migrants and their families in India and Australia across five decades of migration. The nature of settlement and mobility has changed. The joint family is being reimagined. Money, communication and family now flow two ways between India and Australia. Globalization and Money: A Global South Perspective (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013) argues that the future of money will be based on the way money is used as a medium of relationships in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Girls Ate Last (Angsana Publications, 2013) tells the story of her mother who grew up in Rawalpindi and turned the Partition of India into a personal victory. Marriage Money: The Social Shaping of Money in Marriage & Banking (1997) analyses how gender and money are intertwined in marriage and banking.