From Pain to Power: A Socio-Psychological Investigation of Anti-Racist Feminist Ressentiment
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In recent years, identity-based movements have increasingly been criticized by outsiders for espousing a culture of outrage both in terms of their academic expressions and activist mobilizations. In the present study, I examine this charge from within the struggle by advancing a self-reflexive socio-psychological investigation into certain emotional responses, attitudes, and practices that have, in significant ways, come to define this type of political agitation. Specifically, I focus my analysis on anti-racist feminism given my personal ties and investment in this movement. Following Wendy Brown, I investigate whether anti-racist feminism suffers from the Nietzschean affliction of ressentiment, and if so, what can be done to reorient the movement towards a more affirmative and humanist future. I address this latter objective through the work of Erich Fromm who I argue provides us with insights that are especially pertinent to our current problem, and which, when developed further with the aid of anti-racist interventions, can offer a fruitful means to moving forward.