"I Change Myself, I Change the World": Gloria Anzaldúa's Sociological Imagination in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza | OKCIR: Omar Khayyam Center for Integrative Research
What lessons can sociologists draw from the life and writings of the Chicana cultural theorist and spiritual activist Gloria E. Anzaldúa for advancing the sociological imagination and intellectual agenda that make a public difference? In this article Tamdgidi argues that the key to Anzaldúa’s public impact has to be sought in her thesis of the simultaneity of self and global transformations, and the intricate strategies she employed in advancing the thesis through her writings such as Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987). Closely reading the text, Tamdgidi notes how for Anzaldúa the transformation of self/world essentially involves the task of bridging/transcending/healing a vast array of habitual dualisms deeply ingrained in our personal and global landscapes. Progressively unpacking Anzaldúa’s sociological imagination in order to highlight its potential contributions to enriching the Millsian and symbolic interactionist traditions in sociology, the author tries to provide a plausible answer to the question of what is so publicly transformative and energizing in Anzaldúa’s often privately focused, reflexive writings. He argues that it is the dialectic of public and private sociology informing her sociological imagination that renders her intellectual work so effective. Amid current debates on ways to advance public sociology, Anzaldúa’s way of going private to advance public sociology is paradoxically effective and refreshing.