Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Sociology

Abstract

Inequality in the lives of Black women comes in many forms. As Kimberle Crenshaw observed, Black women experience inequality through the criminal (in)justice system, political and popular cultural representations that stereotype and exclude Black women and when accessing much needed social services (1991). As in the tradition of Black feminist scholars like Kimberle Crenshaw and Rose M. Brewer, this paper challenges stereotypical conceptions of Black womanhood within and outside of sociology, while proposing a relationship between the scholarship and social inequalities experienced by Black women. From this framework, I examine the inequalities Black women experience when accessing social services, consider the contributions and perspectives of Black women directly to social service delivery methods including measures of trauma and take a critical stance by proposing an entirely new model of social support that better serves Black women.

This paper proposes a new model for social support that eschews victim-blaming and paternalistic approaches to service provision and instead adopts a partnership-oriented model that is trauma-informed and intersectional. This paper also introduces a relationship between scholarship inequality and social inequality and its impact on Black women accessing needed support. By engaging with Black women directly this paper challenges dominant perceptions of Black women in sociology and society, while elevating and honoring their experiences of trauma that are understudied and their intellectual contributions to the topic of trauma using a Black feminist and critical race methodology to do so.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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