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Collins, Patricia Hill. Learning from the outsider within: The sociological significance of black feminist thought
2004, In Sandra G. Harding (ed.), The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies. Routledge.
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: Black women have long occupied marginal positions in academic settings. I argue that many Black female intellectuals have made creative use of their marginality their “outsider within ” status-to produce Black feminist thought that reflects a special standpoint on self family, and society. I describe and explore the sociological significance of three characteristic themes in such thought: (1) Black women’s self-definition and self-valuation; (2) the interlocking nature of oppression; and (3) the importance of Afro-American women’s culture. After considering how Black women might draw upon these key themes as outsiders within to generate a distinctive standpoint on existing sociological paradigms, I conclude by suggesting that other sociologists would also benefit by placing greater trust in the creative potential of their own personal and cultural biographies.

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2 thoughts on “Learning from the outsider within: The sociological significance of black feminist thought

  1. I think Patricia Hill Collins also works really well for a syllabus on philosophy of social science. “Learning from the outsider within” is a good text to discuss standpoint theories within sociology, standpoint theory as a methodology for social sciences as well as gender and race in science. Could you add this entry to the categories “philosophy of social science” and “philosophy of sociology”? Thanks a lot!

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