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Title page for ETD etd-09042009-112444

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Day, Keri Leigh
Author's Email Address keri.l.day@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-09042009-112444
Title Poor Urban Black Women and Prospects Toward Thriving: The Significance of Critical Social Theory for Womanist Theo-Ethical Discourse
Degree PhD
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Victor Anderson Committee Chair
Lewis Baldwin Committee Member
Melissa Snarr Committee Member
Ted Smith Committee Member
  • moynihan report
  • womanist theology
  • poverty
  • religion
  • women's studies
  • social theory
  • feminist critial social theory
  • black sociology
Date of Defense 2009-08-26
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation explores the importance of critical social theory for womanist theology and ethics. Womanist theo-ethical discourse has done well in explaining the manner in which culture representations have contributed to the socio-economic subordination of poor urban black women. However, neo-liberal economic institutions that intensify and exacerbate the poverty of urban black women are not addressed within womanist discourse, which does not allow one to explore how culture and economy relate in structuring the life chances of these women. Deploying the critical social theory of Jürgen Habermas, Seyla Benhabib, and Nancy Fraser, I argue that critical social theory offers a rigorous methodology for womanist theo-ethical discourse, providing this discourse with the analytic categories to critique free-market ideology and its neo-liberal interests as well as articulate the conditions for the possibility of thriving for poor urban black women within advanced capitalist arrangements.

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