This chapter proposes a distinctive kind of agency that can vindicate the agency of members of marginalized groups while accommodating the autonomy-undermining influences of oppression. Socially embedded agency—the locus of which is in the exercise of our ability to negotiate between different social features—is compatible with, and can explain, various phenomena, including double-consciousness and white fragility. Moreover, although socially embedded agency is neither necessary nor sufficient for autonomy, exercising it is practically necessary to achieve autonomy, at least for members of marginalized groups in our non-ideal world. This means that we can also explain why many have thought that there was a tension between autonomy-eroding effects of oppression and the call for respecting the agency of those who are oppressed.
Webster, A. K. (2021). Socially Embedded Agency: Lessons from Marginalized Identities. In D. Shoemaker (Ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility Volume 7 (104-129). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780192844644.003.0006