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

  title={Learning from the Outsider Within: The Sociological Significance of Black Feminist Thought},
  author={Patr{\'i}cia Hill Collins},
  journal={Social Problems},
  • P. Collins
  • Published 1 December 1986
  • Sociology
  • Social Problems
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… 
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