American Sociological Association

The Anti-oppressive Value of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality in Social Movement Study

Social movements can be important mechanisms of social change for vulnerable populations as the formal mechanisms of policy and legislation tend to be in the hands of the powerful in society. Academic scholarship can play an important role in challenging or reinforcing social power dynamics. This reality makes it important to critically interrogate social movement knowledge production and use anti-oppressive frameworks for social movement scholarship. Sociology has contributed greatly to social movement literature, and the American Sociological Association (ASA), especially the section of Collective Behavior and Social Movements (CBSM), is a central site of academic credibility and scholarship. This examination draws on critical race theory and intersectionality to analyze 10 years of award-winning books from the CBSM, specifically recipients of the Charles Tilly Award for Best Book. These books are prominently positioned with respect to the production of knowledge, as well as the study of social movements. This analysis shows the absence of critical race theory and intersectionality in core of social movement scholarship and identifies a pattern of erasure and marginalization of vulnerable populations in the award-winning books.


Callie Watkins Liu





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