A two-tiered analysis of the outsider within's relationship to the construction of race


Author/Creator ORCID






Bachelor's Degree

Citation of Original Publication


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I argue that Patricia Hill Collins’ outsider-within standpoint is both unnecessary and insufficient for the prospect of rearticulating paradigmatic sociological methods in order to more precisely describe the sociological conditions of the typically oppressed and underrepresented. Collins points out that Black feminist thought is receptive to what would otherwise be considered anomalies to normal or typical (white male) sociological thinkers. This may be so, but in Kuhnian terms, the sort of receptive capabilities the Black feminist standpoint indicates are critical and not candidates for assimilation. It is not possible for the current paradigm to be rearticulated or refined according to the anomalies that Collins points out are indicative of and are indicated by the development of a particularly Black feminist standpoint. Kuhnian philosophy of science provides three possible outcomes to the onset of crisis, in which the community can: set the crisisprovoking anomalies aside due to a lack of methodological and conceptual tools; refine or rearticulate the existing paradigm, which amounts to reducing the anomalies to puzzles; or abandon the paradigm completely and adopt a new one—one which structures a fundamentally different grammar.