Categories We Live By
The Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, and Other Social Categories
Oxford University Press, 2018
Available at Oxford Scholarship Online
Order: Oxford, Amazon
Artwork on cover by Anna Hallin
Description from the publisher:
We are women, we are men. We are refugees, single mothers, people with disabilities, and queers. We belong to social categories and they frame our actions, self-understanding, and opportunities. But what are social categories? How are they created and sustained? How does one come to belong to them?
Ásta approaches these questions through analytic feminist metaphysics. Her theory of social categories centers on an answer to the question: what is it for a feature of an individual to be socially meaningful? In a careful, probing investigation, she reveals how social categories are created and sustained and demonstrates their tendency to oppress through examples from current events. To this end, she offers an account of just what social construction is and how it works in a range of examples that problematize the categories of sex, gender, and race in particular. The main idea is that social categories are conferred upon people. Ásta introduces a 'conferralist' framework in order to articulate a theory of social meaning, social construction, and most importantly, of the construction of sex, gender, race, disability, and other social categories.
Elizabeth Barnes and Matthew Andler, Mind
Åsa Burman, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Katharine Jenkins, Philosophers’ Magazine
Jaana Virta, Sukupuolentutkimus (Finnish)
Iñigo Valero Alzaga, Gogoa (Basque)
Sigríður Þorgeirsdóttir, Hugur, 2019 (Icelandic)
Megan A. Dean, Australian Journal of Philosophy, 2020
Katherine Ritchie. Analysis Reviews, 2020
Rebecca Mason. Hypatia Reviews Online, 2020.
Jonathan Tsou. Metascience, 2020.
Journal of Social Ontology. 2020
Critics: Åsa Burman, Esa Díaz-Léon, Aaron Griffith, Katharine Jenkins
European Journal of Philosophy. Forthcoming.
Critics: Linda Martín Alcoff, Judith Butler, Abraham Roth.
Morgunblaðið, Sunnudagsblað, 28.7.2019. In Icelandic.
Víðsjá, Icelandic radio (RÚV 1) March 13, 2019. In Icelandic.
“Social Constructs”, Abigail Thorn, Philosophy Tube.
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