Don't Label Me: Professor Sveinsdottir Discusses Research on Social Categories

Friday, July 31, 2015
PHILOSOP-HER -- Ásta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir is an associate professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University. Recent papers include “The Social Construction of Human Kinds” (Hypatia), “Knowledge of Essence” (Philosophical Studies), “Who’s Afraid of Feminist Metaphysics?” (APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy) and “Social Construction” (Philosophy Compass). She is at work on a monograph titled “Categories We Live By: The Construction of Gender, Sex, Race and Other Social Categories,” which is under contract with Oxford University Press. “While social categories can be a positive source of identity and belonging, often they are oppressive and membership in them can put serious constraints on a person’s life options,” Sveinsdóttir says. “So, in offering a theory of social categories, the aim is to reveal the cogs and belts and arrangements of parts in machines that often are oppressive.”