Essay on Black Feminist Outline

Submitted By AlfredVargas
Words: 978
Pages: 4

Alfredo Williams
SOC 311
SI# 004524818
June 10, 2015
Intersecting Oppressions
1. Epistemology: the study of knowledge
a. Knowledge is what you know; it is the fact or condition of knowing
2. Human knowledge is disturbing
a. We are not sure what it is, where it comes from, or how it can be validated
3. There are two main philosophical schools that attempt to address this: empiricism and rationalism
a. Empiricism-holds that all knowledge comes from and must be tested by sense experience; data that come to us via our five senses
b. Rationalism-argues that senses experience can be wrong and that reason is out chief source and validation of knowledge
4. Sociology is interested in the social factors the influence how knowledge is created and how knowledge is socially used
a. One of the first was Karl Marx; he believed that what people know and think are intrinsically wrapped up with class position
5. Patricia Hill Collins argues that the politics of race and gender also influence knowledge
a. In Marxian terms, race and gender are a part of our “social being”
6. Positivistic approach
a. True or correct knowledge only comes when the observer separates him or her self from that which is being studied.
b. Personal emotion must be set aside in the pursuit of pure knowledge.
c. No personal ethics or values must come into research
d. Knowledge progresses through cumulation and adversarial debate
7. Four tenets of black feminist epistemology
a. Alternative epistemologies are built upon lived experience not upon an objectified position
b. Use of dialog rather that adversarial debate
c. Centering lived experiences and the use of dialog imply that knowledge is built around ethics of caring
d. Personal accountability
8. Implications of black feminist thought
a. How we know and what we know have implications for who we see ourselves to be, how we live our lives and how we treat others
9. Collins sees the connections as particularly important for black women in three ways
a. There is a tension between common challenges and diverse experiences
b. The diverse responses are prompted by intersectionality
c. Informed by the growing sensibility of diversity whining commonality
10. Collins identifies three primary safe spaces for black women
a. Black women’s relationships with each other
b. The other two spaces are cultural and are constituted by the black woman’s blues tradition and the voices of black women authors
11. There are several reasons why the blues are particularly important for constructing safe spaces and identities for black women
a. Blues originated as back and forth calls between slaves in the fields
b. It was born out of misery
c. The blues expresses to even the illiterate
d. Wraps individual suffering in a transcendent collective consciousness that enables the oppressed to preserve in hope without bitterness.
12. The struggles for self-identify take place within an ongoing dialog between group knowledge or standpoint and experience as a heterogeneous collective
13. Collins argues that changes in thinking may alter behaviors and altering behaviors may produce changes in thinking
14. Collins sees dialog as a process of rearticulating rather than consciousness raising
15. Rearticulating is a vehicle for re-expressing a consciousness that quite often already exists in the public sphere.
16. The place of black intellectuals
a. We can divide social intellectuals or academics into two broad groups
i. Those who are pure researchers
1. Hold to value-free sociology; interested in simply discovering and explaining the social world ii. Those who are praxis researchers
1. Interested in ferreting out the processes of oppression and changing the social world
17. Collins argues that black feminist intellectuals “alone can foster the group autonomy that foster effective coalitions with other groups.”
18. Intersectionality-a particular way of understanding social location in terms of crisscross systems of oppression
19. Intersectionality is an