- Which social hierarchies are involved in shaping the consciousness of the individual or group you are considering? How do the positions of the individual or group in those hierarchies confer overlapping or conflicting dominant or subordinate status in US society?
2. What evidence or examples, if any, do you see of specific awareness, identities, and activism on the part of the individual or group based on their intersectionality?
168 :: SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY IN THE CONTEMPORARY ERA
Figure 3.5 Collins’s Basic Concepts and Theoretical Orientation
Self-defined Cultural context
Shared angles of
Introduction to Black Feminist Thought
In the following selection from Collins’s most highly acclaimed book, Black Feminist
Thought, Collins exposes and discusses the tension for black womei’t as agents of knowlÂ
edge, acknowledging that “Black culture and many of its traditions oppress women”
(Collins 1990/2000:230). However, she also warns against portraying black women
either “solely as passive, unfortunate recipients of racial and sexual abuses” or as “heroic
figures who easily engage in resisting oppression” (ibid.:238). In sum, Collins continually
emphasizes the complexity of systems of both domination and resistance.
Black Feminist Thought (1990)
Patricia Hill Collins
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES Rather than developing definitions and arguÂ
ing over naming practices-for example, whether OF BLACK FEMINIST THOUGHT
this thought should be called Black feminism,
womanism, Afrocentric feminism, Africana â€¢Widely used yet increasingly difficult to define,
womanism, and the like-a more useful approach U.S. Black feminist thought encompasses diverse
lies in revisiting the reasons why Black feminist and often contradictory meanings ….
SOURCE: Excerpts from Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins. CopyrightÂ© 2000 by Taylor & Francis ..
Group LLC. Reproduced with permission ofTaylor & Francis Group, LLC via Copyright Clearance Center.
. thought exists i
features that ct
women, and b(
and all others
thought has a
unique and ma;
Why U.S. Blac
U.S. Black won
As a collectivit
in a dialecticc
two parties are ,
oppressions of 1
response to that
In a similar
of U.S. Black J
justify it. If inte1
social theory, 1
context of socia
themselves are e
transcend U.S. I
been filtered thr
text, its contour
(Takaki 1993). I
thought and prB
made to all Am,
Âµght exists at all. Exploring six distinguishing
#fies that characterize Blackfeminist thought
provide the common ground that is go
ly needed both among African’.”Ainerican
d 6n, and between African-American women
4/alJâ€¢.Â·Â·others :whose Â·collet
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