Visible identities:race, gender, and the self/Linda Martın Alcoff. p. cm.—(Studies in feminist philosophy). Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN In the heated debates over identity politics, few theorists have looked carefully at the conceptualizations of identity assumed by all sides. Visible. PDF | On Mar 1, , David Ingram and others published Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self by Linda Alcoff.

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Answers to the “who” question are always hopeful, for they point to not what we are but who we hope to be. Putting her political arguments aside, this is one of Alcoff’s most important contributions to race theory.

Alcoff’s correction is welcome, because one gets the sense that in much of the analytic literature about the metaphysics visoble race and ethnicity, those two categories are merely fascinating place holders for any social category, and the project is really about uncovering the conditions of existence for social categories generally.

Sign in Create an account. Classical, Early, and Medieval Prose and Writers: Moral Universalism and Economic Triage,” Diogenes No keywords specified fix it.

Furthermore, since these categories come with scripts, determined by social expectations and stereotypes, they serve to undermine individual autonomy and individually formed rational life plans. Allison Weir – – Philosophy and Social Criticism 35 5: Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of ldentities monograph in OSO for personal use for details see www. The book develops a more realistic characterization of identity in general through combining phenomenological approaches to embodiment with hermeneutic concepts of the interpretive horizon.

Oxford University Press idsntities a department of the University of Oxford.

Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self – Oxford Scholarship

Other features of Alcoff’s account of social identities are familiar ideas in debates about the metaphysics of social identities.

But identities such as race and gender also have a powerful visual and material aspect that eliminativists and social constructionists often underestimate. Racialized Identities and Racist Subjects 7. However, there is a tension in her work between the radical particularity of identity in her account of racial embodiment, and her account of the role of social identities within democracy.


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Latinos and the Categories of Race. Alcoff’s attempt to make a political argument through metaphysical analysis immediately calls to mind the distinction between those two areas of inquiry and their presumed separateness.

The idea of visibility has a unifying role in Alcoff’s metaphysical and epistemological account of those social identities. This insistence is malicious and exclusionary when it is put forward by a society that cultivates what Charles Mills called an epistemology of ignorance about the social role and presence of gender and race, and the historical place of those categories in the formation of modern liberal democracies.

Classical, Early, and Medieval Poetry and Poets: They are the “situations” from which we come to know, understand, and reason about the world. Her arguments, however, do not address the metaphysical arguments of those who question the objective existence of at least one of the central categories of her analysis.

Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self

Drawing on both philosophical sources as well as theories and empirical studies in the social sciences, this book makes a strong case that identities are not like special interests, nor are they doomed to oppositional politics, nor do they inevitably lead to conformism, essentialism, or identiities approaches to judging others.

Race, Gender, and the Self. In the heated debates over identity politics, few theorists have looked carefully at the conceptualizations of identity assumed by all sides.

Race, Gender, and Sexuality: Rachel McKinnon – – Res Philosophica 92 2: Since our identities so strongly affect our interaction with the world, they cannot be so easily transcended in the way that liberals typically demand.

The third problem charges that strongly felt social identities interfere with rational deliberation, especially concerning political, ethical, and cultural matters.

Visible Identities – Linda Martín Alcoff – Oxford University Press

Those chapters have been previously published wlcoff they have also been reworked to include her insights from the first section.

Moreover, the book explores the material infrastructure of gendered identity, the experimental aspects of racial subjectivity for both whites and non-whites, and in several chapters looks specifically at Latio identity. Choose your country or region Close. Philosophical Issues of Identity and Justice. Alcoff’s introduction of embodiment then reminds us of the specificity of the experience of each category, and the need to account for that specificity in our theories of race, ethnicity, and gender.


In Alcoff’s analysis, the social identities of race, ethnicity, and gender function as interpretative horizons. Groups become centers of power that seek social reproduction and offer measures to encourage icentities, compel membership, and exclude those who exercise their idntities autonomy by not conforming to the group’s will. Although the weight of Alcoff’s analysis rests in the first section, the collection of chapters in the following sections, all of which have been previously published, are invaluable resources for scholars interested in this area of philosophy, and will be useful in classes ranging from political and social philosophy to feminist philosophy and race theory.

But identities such as race and Tamar Gendler – – Philosophical Studies 1: Lotter – – South African Journal of Philosophy 17 3: Isentities Pohlhaus – – Hypatia 27 4: Sign in to use this feature. Besides addressing the general contours of social identity, the book develops an account of the material infrastructure of gendered identity, compares and contrasts gender identities with racialized ones, and explores the experiential aspects of racial subjectivity for both whites and non-whites.

In short, I worry that Alcoff gisible not fully consider the incentives that social identities alfoff to institutionalize and to form bureaucracies.

Don’t have an account? While she places the social identities she analyzes within the context of group interaction, her emphasis on hybridity and multiplicity allows for enough divergence so that three problems with identity are avoided.