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Learning from the Outsider Within: The Sociological Significance of Black Feminist Thought

Learning from the Outsider Within: The Sociological Significance of Black Feminist Thought 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. This content is only available as a PDF. © 1986 Society for the Study of Social Problems, Inc. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Problems Oxford University Press

Learning from the Outsider Within: The Sociological Significance of Black Feminist Thought

Social Problems , Volume 33 (6) – Dec 1, 1986

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References (60)

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© 1986 Society for the Study of Social Problems, Inc.
ISSN
0037-7791
eISSN
1533-8533
DOI
10.2307/800672
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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. This content is only available as a PDF. © 1986 Society for the Study of Social Problems, Inc.

Journal

Social ProblemsOxford University Press

Published: Dec 1, 1986

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