Two Kinds of ‘Structure’ (In Progress)

Structural accounts of oppression, and the cultural uptake that these accounts have received is essential to our abilities to describe, evaluation, explain, and ameliorate interlocking systems of oppression. There has been some debate in philosophy about whether focusing on individual features such as implicit bias or individual actions are a distraction from the larger story about systems. On the other hand, there has been some worry that we might forget the roles of individuals in contributing to systemic shifts. In this paper, I will assume that individualist monism is false and argue that structural monism is also false. To do so, I will demonstrate that there are two senses of structural in the literature and explore questions of fundamentality in explanation of oppression.

Social Norms, Intrinsic Motivation, and Oppression (In Progress)

In Davidson and Kelly (2020), we argued that social norms are a mediating layer between individuals and structures that are often overlooked in debates about the primacy of individuals or structures in explanations of social phenomenon. Extending this argument, this paper uses the lens of social norms to argue for the importance of the relationship between individuals and structures for describing, explaining, and ameliorating oppression based on social identity (e.g. race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, body size). Specifically, this paper will explore the connection between intrinsic motivation to comply with social norms (Kelly 2020), interpersonal interactions that uphold oppression, and internalized oppression. My aim is to provide a pluralist alternative to structuralist accounts that propose structures are either the more important (Haslanger 2015) or the only thing (Martín 2020) that matters for explaining oppression.