As books take so long to write and research it is tempting to list all of those who have been involved in any small way. In order to avoid these acknowledgements reading like an Oscar winner's acceptance speech I will inevitably miss some who have helped and supported me along the way. I can only apologise for this. I should first mention my editors at Routledge, Mari Shullaw and Gerhard Boomgarten, who have offered invaluable advice. Colleagues in the departments of sociology at the University of Derby and the University of Manchester have provided a stimulating academic context. In the short time I have been based at the University of Sussex, I have also received nothing but kindness and academic support. In addition, staff and Ph.D. students at the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies, Ahfad University for Women, Sudan, have been an inspiration.
Particular appreciation is reserved for the constructive criticism provided by those readers who have ploughed through sections of this book. Thanks to Joanne Hollows, Mary Holmes, Ursula Sharma and Gary Hazeldine. Ann Akeroyd also provided invaluable references which have improved my understanding of some of the issues I discuss.
The fieldwork for this book has been carried out over an extended period of time, and I am immensely grateful to Ursula Sharma and Mary Madden who conducted some of the interviews and contributed their understanding and insight. I have obtained permission from Mary and Ursula to interpret the material they