Patricia Hill Collins is a professor of sociology from the University of Maryland. Collins work consisted of and related to gender and feminism within the African american community. Collins is a prime sociologist to back the theory of Intersectionality. To understand Intersectionality would take a lot to break down. It may be confusing at first glance but to sum up the definition, Intersectionality is defined as the overlay of social categorizations (race, gender, class) that may contribute towards the oppression or discrimination against that person. With intersectional theory it may argue that one aspect of social identity is given praise in some sort over the rest. Thus creating inequality amongst the identities.
In the reading The Interaction Of Gender With Other Socially Constructed Prisms, Collins goes into depth about the inequality of the social identities and proclaims that we as people must try to overlook the differences that we may have. In order to function as a society there must be change in how we view people that are not from the same background as you. In order to take those first steps simple changes must be done. ” We ,must first recognize race gender class as interlocking categories that together cultivate profound differences in our personal biographies ” (84)
Also in the reading Collins argues that people must be able rise above oppression. We have been programmed to believe certain things about races, gender,social class, and that is just another way to keep others down. Oppression can be defined as the practice of power. Race and gender go hand in hand when it comes to oppression, Women can be seen as the large group that is often oppressed. But Black women are discriminated upon on a daily basis. The way that black women have been defined and broken down goes back hundreds of years. Black women are compared to white women very often and some time ( more than some) black women seem to get the short end of the stick. black women are compared to women in race which one is better. which one is more beautiful etc.
An example of this would be the way the media depicts certain groups of people. For instance Reality TV, “Reality” Television plays a huge role in how most people in society view others. In a negative light black women have been depicted as ghetto, loud, and promiscuous. These shows like Real housewives and basketball wives give such a negative view of what black women are like these women are just a select few that got an opportunity to showcase their lifestyles but then they are voted on by society to be the sponsor or leaders of them all. Because we already have set our minds as to what we think or what we feel it will be hard to change. ” To get at the piece of oppressor which is planted deep within each of us’ we also need to change our daily behavior” ( 84) If we don’t try to change our views as a whole then it will never work.