Chapter

Pushing the Boundaries or Business as Usual? Race, Class, and Gender Studies and Sociological Inquiry

Collins Patricia Hill

in Sociology in America

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780226090948
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226090962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226090962.003.0017
Pushing the Boundaries or Business as Usual? Race, Class, and Gender Studies and Sociological Inquiry

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This chapter addresses the following questions: In what ways, if any, is the sociological subdiscipline of race, class, and gender studies developing the analytical strategies, interpretive paradigms, and core principles that advance the larger endeavor of race, class, and gender studies? Does this specialization push the boundaries of sociological inquiry or is it simply stratification in drag? The theme of boundary making constitutes an important challenge both for the sociological specialization of race, class, and gender studies as well as for the broader interdisciplinary field in which it also participates. Boundary making is an important component of the power relations that catalyze academic disciplines, including sociology, as well as sociological knowledge itself. A fluid process of boundary making in social and symbolic space shapes the contours of race, class, and gender studies both within and outside sociology. Negotiating boundaries constitutes a major challenge for the field of race, class, and gender studies—not to seal the borders from interlopers but rather to ensure safe passage across them.

Keywords: American sociology; race; class; gender studies; sociological inquiry

Chapter.  14313 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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