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Vol. 5 No. 4 (2022): Critical Phenomenology, Racial Justice, and Radical Imagination

Bodily Alienation and Critical Phenomenologies of Race

  • Céline Leboeuf
February 9, 2023


The concept of bodily alienation is promising for critical phenomenologies of race because it marries description and evaluation. With this concept, we can go beyond mere descriptions of lived experience and provide arguments for challenging the status quo. In fact, we can steer clear of another danger: an overly “objective” form of theorizing about race that is unresponsive to the lived experiences of the subjects whose lives it aims to reimagine. By contrast, phenomenologies founded on the concept of bodily alienation teach us which social interactions and spaces alienate people of color. In turn, this knowledge can help us envision a more hospitable world for all.