40 pages 1 hour read

bell hooks

Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1984

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Index of Terms


hooks centers her discussion of feminism around the systems of domination that define social interactions, institutions, and family life. hooks defines domination as the active form that oppression takes in regulating people’s access to work, education, and money. Domination operates on micro and macro levels, as the power structures of patriarchal institutions like courts are replicated in interpersonal dynamics like the home.


For hooks, feminism is defined by solidarity among peoples of all social classes and races working toward eradicating all systems of power and oppression so that sexist oppression itself can finally be addressed. Feminism must therefore include anti-racism and anti-classism to be true feminism rather than a limited social movement based on the class agendas of wealthy, white women.


Growing up in a segregated community in Kentucky, hooks defines a margin as a physical and social space in which residents must move into the center of a white town to work, shop, and access education. Individuals on the margins are often excluded from reform or revolution as they are not considered in the classist and racist agendas of the middle- and upper-class white communities in power.