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Intersectionality – A Resource for Students and Scholars

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This wiki about INTERSECTIONALITY was built by the Women's & Gender Studies Capstone class of 2016 at Eastern Washington University. It is meant to be an enduring resource for students and scholars. If you would like to contribute, please contact [editor] or [editor] for access. 

 

What is Intersectionality?

"Intersectionality is a framework that must be applied to all social justice work, a frame that recognizes the multiple aspects of identity that enrich our lives and experiences and that compound and complicate oppressions and marginalizations. A lack of intersectionality leads to an erasure of people and their identities."

-Jarune Uwujaren & Jamie Utt, "Why Our Feminism Must Be Intersectional", Everyday Feminism, January 11, 2015

 

"My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit."

- Flavia Dzodan, MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!, Tiger Beatdown, October 10, 2011

 

 

Intesectionality is represented as a dialectic of privilege and oppression in this diagram Mary Crawford’s 2006 textbook Transformations: Women, Gender, and Psychology (New York: McGraw-Hill):

 

 

In Kimberlé Crenshaw's initial law review essays, she defined intersectionality in terms of "the various ways in which race and gender interact to shape the multiple dimensions of Black women's employment experiences", while carefully noting that intersectionality is NOT a new, totalizing theory of identity (Crenshaw, 1991). Patricia Hill Collins (2015) has recently asserted that the term "references the critical insight that race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nation, ability, and age operate not as unitary, mutually exclusive entities, but rather as reciprocally constructing phenomena" while also acknowledging that consensus is far from clear. Is intersectionality a concept, a methodology, a paradigm, a theory? Yes. 

 


 

Geneaology of Intersectionality

An abbreviated history of feminist intersectional thinking, adapted from Ange-Marie Hancock, Intersectionality: An Intellectual History (Oxford University Press, 2015).

 


 

Intersectionality Projects

Feminist work on intersectionality consists mainly of two intellectual projects: (1) the political action of making visible the previously invisible effects of interlocking oppressions, and (2) an analytic approach to the relationships among categories of identity; that is, race, gender, sexuality, class, age, disability, nationality, etc., are mutually constitutive (Hancock, 2015). 


Sources:

Collins, P. H. (2015). Intersectionality's Definitional Dilemmas. Annual Review of Sociology, 41(1), 1–20. 

Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review, 43, 1241–1299.

Hancock, A-M. (2015). Intersectionality: An Intellectual History. New York: Oxford University Press.

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