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What You Need to Know About : Black Feminist Epistemology

Black feminist epistemology characterizes U.S. Black women’s ways of knowing as distinctive and
significant for developing theories of the social world and for attaining social justice for all oppressed groups. This perspective stresses the importance of Black women’s social locations for how they create and validate knowledge, claiming that their shared experiences can foster group knowledge that can inform political action. It emphasizes the fact that Black women can face multiple, interlocking oppressions of gender and race as well as classism and heterosexism. Moreover, Black feminist epistemology is a type of critical theory because it aims to empower the oppressed to improve their situation. This theory has implications for communication scholarship because it suggests approaches for theorizing ways that members of nondominant groups construct and disseminate knowledge and provides insights into how communication can effect social change.

Sociologist Patricia Hill Collins grounds Black feminist epistemology in broad goals of Black feminism. Black feminism is a political–social movement that arose from feelings of discontent among Black women and their allies due to frustration with both the civil rights movement and the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The former neglected gender issues in favor of race, while the latter focused mainly on White, middleclass women’s concerns. Consequently, Black women began to develop theory and initiate political action related to their struggles with various oppressions, including sexism, racism, classism, and heterosexism. Based on a commitment to social justice for Black women and other oppressed groups, they, along with other women of color, began to propose alternative feminisms. Black feminist epistemology details one of those alternative perspectives.

Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.

Penanggungjawab naskah :

Gayes Mahestu
Edwina Ayu Kustiawan

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