Phenomenology, the philosophical method that seeks to uncover the taken-for-granted presuppositions, habits, and norms that structure everyday experience, is increasingly framed by ethical and political concerns. Critical phenomenology foregrounds experiences of marginalization, oppression, and power in order to identify and transform common experiences of injustice that render “the familiar” a site of oppression for many. In Fifty Concepts for a Critical Phenomenology, leading scholars present fresh readings of classic phenomenological topics and introduce newer concepts developed by feminist theorists, critical race theorists, disability theorists, and queer and trans theorists that capture aspects of lived experience that have traditionally been neglected. By centering historically marginalized perspectives, the chapters in this book breathe new life into the phenomenological tradition and reveal its ethical, social, and political promise. This volume will be an invaluable resource for teaching and research in continental philosophy; feminist, gender, and sexuality studies; critical race theory; disability studies; cultural studies; and critical theory more generally.
When Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins was published in 1990, reviewers called it "remarkable," "rich and valuable," and proclaimed, "with the publication of this book, Black feminism has moved to a new level." Now, in Fighting Words, Collins expands and extends the discussion of the "outsider within" presented in her earlier work, investigating how effectively Black feminist thought confronts the injustices African American women currently face.
Collins takes on a broad range of issues-poverty, mothering, white supremacy and Afrocentrism, the resegregation of American society by race and class, the ideas of Sojourner Truth and how they can serve as a springboard for more liberating social theory. Contrasting social theories that support unjust power relations of race, class, gender, and nation with those that challenge inequalities, Collins investigates why some ideas are granted the status of "theory" while others remain "thought." "It is not that elites produce theory while everyone else produces mere thought," she writes. "Rather, elites possess the power to legitimate the knowledge that they define as theory as being universal, normative, and ideal."
Collins argues that because African American women and other historically oppressed groups seek economic and social justice, their social theories may emphasize themes and work from assumptions that are different from those of mainstream American society, generating new angles of vision on injustice. Collins also puts such oppositional social theory to the test: while the words of these theories may challenge injustice, do the ideas make a difference in the lives of the people they claim to represent?
Throughout, Collins provides an essential understanding of how "outsiders" resist mainstream perspectives, and what the mainstream can learn from such "outsiders." Historically situated yet transcending the specific, Fighting Words provides a new interpretive framework for both thinking through and overcoming social injustice.
"In her perceptive book, Fighting Words, Patricia Hill Collins, a leading scholar in critical theory, argues that intellectuals who break with conventional wisdom are more of a threat to the establishment than their numbers might suggest." Joe R. Feagin in The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Fighting Words is a treatise, if you will, encouraging all black women to engage in dialogue and to reach out to each other, regardless of education, income, or class. Fighting Words is an amazing work in the way it seamlessly combines the histories of black women and feminism. Even more impressive is the way Collins blends her personal experiences as a black woman, educator, and sociologist. Collins is all about telling the truth, now. That is probably why Fighting Words is such a revelation." Black Issues Book Review
"Fighting Words ably demonstrates that Collins is still our leading theorist. Those who understand black women in terms of reductionist categories and who need to read this book probably won't. But it gives the rest of us another sharp implement with which to saw at the ropes." Women's Review of Books
"Collins argues that the political gains of black women's 'talking back' now must be measured against changes brought on by the postmodern criticism of social science and Afrocentricism. Collins calls for a critical social theory that not only encourages black women's full participation in social life but actually grounds its own authority in its ability to enable black women's full participation." American Journal of Sociology
"Collins' exploration of the question, 'What is knowledge?' demonstrates the value of a perspective that brings together the complex interrelationships of race, gender and social ranking. The text is both counter-theoretical and practicalÂÂa readable, persuasive and important source. Highly recommended." The Diversity Factor
"Advances a much needed discussion, beyond feminism and identity politics for black women and, presumably, for women of color generally." National Women's Studies Association Journal
"Hill Collins provides a refreshing new look at theory that is not mired in obscure language but purposely written in multiple languages to welcome a broader audience. By using accessible/inclusive language and drawing on many schools of intellectual thought, she informs and educates across disciplines Â a unique characteristic in academia. She delivers a critical and passionate work that is inspiring to a new generation of scholars and renews the spirit of existing scholars." Gender and Society
"Collins has offered an excellent text that helps us understand not only Black feminist thought and its relationship to Black women's experiences, but also how it may help those of us truly working for social justice." Feminist Collections
"This book has many suggestive ideas and well-thought-through social theoretical analyses. In line with her earlier work, Collins continues to argue that group positions generate epistemological standpoints from which people ask and answer questions of social knowledge in different ways. She considers whether recent theories of Black women as having 'intersectional' positions is a better conceptualization of the specific standpoint of Black women. Collins's book offers much to think about and to discuss for those involved in struggles generated by encounters and events beyond theory." Hypatia
"This is a work that is both theoretically rich and yet deeply personal in its expressive voice. Collins points us toward the construction of new critical theoretical approaches that can effectively advance the struggles for social justice. Fighting Words is a powerful and passionate work."
Patricia Hill Collins is Charles Phelps Taft Professor of Sociology in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Cincinnati.
Despite legislation designed to eliminate unfair racial practices, the United States continues to struggle with a race problem. Some thinkers label this a "new" racism and call for new political responses to it. Using the experiences of African American women and men as a touchstone for analysis, Patricia Hill Collins examines new forms of racism as well as political responses to it.In this incisive and stimulating book, renowned social theorist Patricia Hill Collins investigates how nationalism has operated and re-emerged in the wake of contemporary globalization and offers an interpretation of how black nationalism works today in the wake of changing black youth identity. Hers is the first study to analyze the interplay of racism, nationalism, and feminism in the context of twenty-first century black America.From Black Power to Hip Hop covers a wide range of topics including the significance of race and ethnicity to the American national identity; how ideas about motherhood affect population policies; African American use of black nationalism ideologies as anti-racist practice; and the relationship between black nationalism, feminism and women in the hip-hop generation.
In Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory Patricia Hill Collins offers a set of analytical tools for those wishing to develop intersectionality's capability to theorize social inequality in ways that would facilitate social change. While intersectionality helps shed light on contemporary social issues, Collins notes that it has yet to reach its full potential as a critical social theory. She contends that for intersectionality to fully realize its power, its practitioners must critically reflect on its assumptions, epistemologies, and methods. She places intersectionality in dialog with several theoretical traditions—from the Frankfurt school to black feminist thought—to sharpen its definition and foreground its singular critical purchase, thereby providing a capacious interrogation into intersectionality's potential to reshape the world.
On Intellectual Activism
Patricia Hill Collins Temple University Press, 2012 Library of Congress HQ1197.C65 2013 | Dewey Decimal 305.48896073
Sociologist Patricia Hill Collins has been called in Contemporary Sociology “one of the defining voices of contemporary feminist and race scholarship.” Well known for her contributions to sociology, social theory, and cultural studies, her numerous publications indicate why she has been a tireless voice for social justice causes such as the dynamics of race, social class, gender, and sexual equality, and also black feminist politics.
In On Intellectual Activism, Collins asks scholars and public intellectuals to assess the meaning of their work. She challenges readers to rethink the potential of speaking truth to power, and examines both the role of the intellectual in public life and how well questions of contemporary social issues are communicated to the public at large.
The contents of this volume—public lectures, previously published pieces, interviews, and new essays—illustrate the important conceptual anchors of Collins’ work and reflect on the major themes of her illustrious career. These timely and thought-provoking essays include topics ranging from black feminist thought, critical education, public sociology, and resisting racism to new visions for activist intellectuals.