Is intersectionality a critical social theory? What must intersectionality do to be both critical and a social theory? Must social justice be a guiding normative principle? And what does or should social justice mean in intersectional theory? Patricia Hills Collins explores these questions, and many more, in Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory (Duke University Press, 2019). Engaging a wide range of thinkers, activists, and traditions, including Classical American Pragmatism, the Frankfurt School, and Ida B. Well-Barnett, Collins helps us to reconsider how we think of intersectionality’s history in order to shape its future.
Sarah Tyson is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Denver.