Alyson M. Cole

is Associate Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies at Queens College and the Graduate Centre, City University of New York. Her work links central questions of political thought especially formulations of justice, the nature of subjugation, and the possibility of resistance or change with an examination of concrete political ideologies, rhetoric, and law/policy-making, emphasizing aspects of subject-formation, gender and race/ethnicity. Her articles have appeared in Signs, American Studies, Feminist Studies, the Michigan Law Review, and the National Women’s Studies Association Journal. She is on the editorial boards of Women’s Studies Quarterly and International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory.


Embittered subjects

The new politics of blaming the victim

“Blaming the victim”, a phrase originally intended to critique the
attribution of social disadvantage to “inherent faults” of black Americans,
has since come to mean something else: the condemnation of self-designated
“victims” as manipulative. As Alyson M. Cole argues, this
new critique itself has highly prescriptive notions about the “good victim”.

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