Patricia Hill Collins

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Oppressed groups are frequently placed in the situation of being listened to only if we frame our ideas in the language that is familiar to and comfortable for a dominant group. This requirement often changes the meaning of our ideas and works to elevate the ideas of dominant groups.

Patricia Hill Collins (born May 1, 1948) is an American academic specialising in race, class and gender. She is a Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Quotes[edit]

  • Oppressed groups are frequently placed in the situation of being listened to only if we frame our ideas in the language that is familiar to and comfortable for a dominant group. This requirement often changes the meaning of our ideas and works to elevate the ideas of dominant groups.
    • Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (2000) p. vii
  • Social conditions that spur large numbers of people into action are ignored in favor of a Hollywood version of history focusing on one conquering hero. Since a movement for social change is embodied in its leader, death of the leader means death of the movement.
    • "We don't need another Dr. King" in Civil Rights Since 1787: A Reader on the Black Struggle (2000), p. 908
  • …In the United States, the dominant discourse is shaped by intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation as systems of power. In my work, I have investigated how racism, sexism, class exploitation, and heterosexism operate to shape the lived experiences of different social groups. Black women’s experiences were the point of entry into these larger questions of power and knowledge, but African-American women’s experiences are not the endpoint…
  • …In the United States and similar multicultural societies, media representations of women differ depending on varying combinations of race, gender identity, ethnicity, class and citizenship status. The white middle-class heterosexual woman holding US citizenship is held up as an ideal type for women from other groups. This is an ideal, a representation, a social construction and not an actual category of people…
  • I think that feminism has the potential to be extremely radical, if it recognizes the power of women's work in sustaining families and communities. Feminism must do a better job of cultivating the radical potential of what women can and already do in their everyday lives as sisters, mothers, teachers, daughters and wives. Changes and public policies and workplace conditions in the public sphere to make them more amenable to women are extremely important. But radical change in two institutions that touch all women, the so-called private sphere institutions of families and communities, is equally if not more significant…

External links[edit]

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