Intersectionality

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Author: Colin Clark
Editor: Patrick L. Mason
Date: 2013
Encyclopedia of Race and Racism
From: Encyclopedia of Race and Racism(Vol. 2. 2nd ed.)
Publisher: Gale, a Cengage Company
Document Type: Topic overview
Pages: 8
Content Level: (Level 5)
Lexile Measure: 1530L

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Intersectionality

Intersectionality refers to the interaction between gender, race, and other categories of difference in individual lives, social practices, institutional arrangements, and cultural ideologies and the outcomes of these interactions in terms of power (Davis 2008, p. 68). As a framework and concept within the social sciences, intersectionality has its roots in a seminal paper written by UCLA law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw titled “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Page 476  |  Top of ArticleAntiracist Politics” (1989). In this wide-ranging paper, Crenshaw proposes that intersectionality is an idea to assist in examining the multidimensional situations, struggles, and voices of, in particular, black and minority women who found themselves occupying an invisible space within more mainstream and middle-class antiracist and feminist discourses. The starting point for Crenshaw was the fact that issues of race and gender had to be looked at both in terms of their interaction, engagement, and connection with one another and in terms of their impact on the real-life experiences of many black and minority women.

Since the publication of Crenshaw's influential paper, the conceptual and methodological impact of intersectional approaches within the arts, humanities, and social sciences has been profound. Since this time, other definitions have emerged: For example, another key author within the field, Leslie McCall, a sociologist at Northwestern University, defines intersectionality as “the relationships among multiple dimensions and modalities of social relationships and subject formations” (2005, p. 1771). McCall suggests that intersectionality has been “the most important contribution that women's studies, in conjunction with related fields, has made so far” (p. 1771).

Academics from a range of disciplines, theoretical positions, and political stances advocate intersectionality as a means of addressing the multiple nuances of how to best implement an engaged, flexible, antidiscriminatory perspective that recognizes the requirements and positions of different approaches to inequality, whether the gaze is through the lens of gender studies, disability perspectives, political economy focus, queer studies, or socio-legal concerns. This is not to suggest that the conceptual road has been an easy one to travel, whether in the United States or Europe. There have been many debates in both classrooms and the pages of academic journals that illustrate how contested and problematic the term is. A useful summary of the terrain occupied by intersectionality, and the interests of this admittedly abstract theoretical paradigm, is provided by Hae Yeon Choo and Myra Marx Ferree, who state that there are at least three areas, conceptually, where it has an important role to play—and this is due to:

the importance of including the perspectives of multiply-marginalized people, especially women of color; an analytic shift from addition of multiple independent strands of inequality toward a multiplication and thus transformation of their main effects into interactions; and a focus on seeing multiple institutions as overlapping in their co-determination of inequalities to produce complex configurations from the start, rather than “extra” interactive processes that are added onto main effects. (Choo and Ferree 2010, p. 131)

The key issue, highlighted by Choo and Ferree (2010), is the way in which intersectional approaches to research, and interaction with the social world more generally, assist in “mapping” how varying “sites” of oppression, such as “race,” class, and gender, are connected and “overlapping,” rather than just adding one oppression on top of (or, indeed, below) other types of oppression.

Further, it is evident that intersectionality has had an impact. One of the key illustrations of the success of intersectionality in reaching across the humanities and social sciences is the fact that in many undergraduate and postgraduate courses, in fields such as ethnic and racial studies, social-class studies, disability studies, and gender/sexuality studies, professors and lecturers not only focus on their particular area of concern or expertise but examine the ways that, for example, race and ethnicity connect to many other social divisions that can impact, fundamentally, on ethnic identity (Bulmer and Solomos 1999; Payne 2006). Long gone are the days when gender studies involved merely deconstructing gender in theoretical isolation. In a multicultural, postmodern social world, difference and diversity (as well as discrimination) cannot be overlooked as a reality for both women and men, and this intersectional understanding of experience is to be appreciated.

Antiracist thinking and teaching now go hand-in-hand and call for an examination of multiple and shifting identities with regard to experiences of prejudice and discrimination. Journals such as Ethnic and Racial Studies encourage authors to ensure that articles look at their chosen topics with attention and space given to not just the specific “ethnic” or “racial” factors but also to related matters of gender, heteronormativity, disability, and social class. Published work within and across the social sciences is now much more likely to adopt a connected and multilayered—that is, intersectional—analysis, and this is both theoretically and politically progressive, if not entirely unproblematic, as will be shown.

WHAT IS INTERSECTIONALITY?

The success of intersectionality as an anti-essentialist concept—as a productive heuristic device, in fact—is matched only by the confusion it has generated among both scholars and practitioners. So what are the intellectual and practical complications of the term? At a basic level, there are issues around definitions and (mis)understandings of intersectionality. What exactly is it—a theory, a concept, a methodology, a political project? Can it be all of the above?

Authors such as Nira Yuval-Davis, Kalpana Kannabiran, and Ulrike Vieten (2006) have written about intersectionality as a means of deconstructing the varying axes of identity and difference, especially in feminist Page 477  |  Top of Articlepolitical contexts and struggles where power relations are foregrounded, while Crenshaw's original idea was to look at how intersectionality offered the opportunity to view issues such as gender and “race” through a “crossroads” framework to analyze multiple forms of oppression and bigotry. In this sense, intersectionality is an explicit recognition that sexism, homophobia, racism, and other forms of discriminatory actions and practices do not often act alone or independently of one another in the “real world”; they interrelate, intersect, and cause real hurt and damage. And here lies one of the most vexing issues within contemporary debates on the issue: Is intersectionality best employed for understanding individual identity and experience or can it extend into assessing more structural and cultural matters at a group or social level? On this specific point, many authors—such as Patricia Hill Collins (2000a, 2000b) and Kathy Davis (2008)—do reach a modicum of agreement: The vague, porous, and open-ended boundaries of the theory and method are both the strength and the weakness of an intersectional approach to understanding the murky terrain of social inequality and unequal power relations.

Collins (2000a) has made an important contribution in attempting to offer answers to the individual/structural question on uses of intersectionality theory. In particular, her “matrix of domination theory” stands out. In Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (2000a), Collins suggests that this “matrix” paradigm assists in teasing out and identifying the connections and interconnections between class, gender, and “race.” Further, Collins forcefully argues that it is disingenuous to imply that such social classifications are somehow separate and distinct from one another, and she argues that, in the same way, we must work to locate the connections that exist between other classifications, such as age, sexual identity, and religious affiliation. Collins does concede the many complexities involved, but posits that people clearly experience domination in many different ways. In the reality of the everyday social world we inhabit, racism, sexism, and class bias more often than not will overlap and produce a series of challenges that may require legislative as well as policy intervention.

INTERSECTIONALITY AND “RACE”

When applied to the realm of ethnic and racial studies, intersectionality can help us face up to the fundamental challenges of acknowledging perceived difference within and between ethnic groups. Intersectionality can be especially helpful when considering gender variations within and between different ethnic groups. The reality of lived experiences among different ethnic groups across the globe—as with “difference” among women—has become a central concern for academics working within, for example, the broad subject areas of ethnic and racial studies, as well as gender studies. It is easy to appreciate why this is the case in both disciplines: It connects to the problem of exclusion and marginalization of certain topics and voices from debates that should have been more inclusive and accessible to different minority concerns and interests (Bonnett 2003). This is the juncture where intersectionality has a critical role to play; it puts “difference” and, for want of a better expression, “outsiderness” at the heart of discussions on identity, inequality, and exclusion, and also foregrounds the serious question of power relations in terms of how different groups of people can position themselves in such debates and stake a claim in a more just and fair society.

Moreover, intersectionality aims to penetrate the multiple layers of oppression. One such practical way of ensuring this occurs is perhaps best captured by the scholar Mari J. Matsuda, who said that we have to always “ask the other question”:

The way I try to understand the interconnection of all forms of subordination is through a method I call “ask the other question.” When I see something that looks racist, I ask, “Where is the patriarchy in this?” When I see something that looks sexist, I ask, “Where is the heterosexism in this?” When I see something that looks homo-phobic, I ask, “Where are the class interests in this?” (Matsuda 1991, p. 1189)

This simple and immediately recognizable strategy has instant appeal. How is “race” gendered? How is sexuality related to social class? Such critical thinking forces us, in a way, to “make the familiar strange” and allows for an interdisciplinary, as well as intersectional, approach to complex questions of oppression. Indeed, it is noted that “difference” takes on specific material forms in this regard. The impact of class and gender, for example, on ethnic identities needs to be appreciated in terms of how different communities (for example, Roma and Sinti groups across central and eastern Europe or Arab Americans in contemporary US society) communicate their identity and experiences to others, as well as advance their struggles for socioeconomic recognition and political and human rights.

As in gender studies, the exclusion of economically disadvantaged women and women from minority ethnic backgrounds from more mainstream feminist debates has long been recognized. But intersectionality offers, potentially, the opportunity to alter this and to capture, in a sense, what Deborah King (1988) has referred to as the “multiple jeopardy” perspective on analyzing the impacts of gender, class, and “race”: that is, with every new category comes another layer of potential social, Page 478  |  Top of Articleeconomic, and political disadvantage and oppressive practices. Further, influential feminist scholars such as Patricia Hill Collins (2000b) and Floya Anthias (1998) have proposed that the focal point has to be the moment—where “X” marks the spot, so to speak—when gender, class, and “race” can politically unite to challenge and destabilize existing racist and patriarchal power relations and connect to form a new set of progressive values and norms that do not, as a rule, disadvantage or exclude those who are most vulnerable to the dominating and unequal conditions imposed by neoliberalism and globalization.

THEORIZING INTERSECTIONALITY

Other approaches to intersectionality have been less materialist in their epistemology or politically routed in their intellectual conception and theoretical direction of travel. Although black feminist thought in the United States led the way with critical thinking on intersectionality, it is worth stressing that it was not a lone voice for very long. For example, deconstructive postmodern scholars working in such fields as diaspora studies (Brah 1996) and postcolonial studies (Mani 1989) have long regarded intersectionality as a useful tool in furthering the battle with what is viewed as an unhealthy and uncritical regard for essentialism and universalism in examining identity, as well as rendering binary oppositions as unhelpful, static dichotomies of the modernist past (Phoenix and Pattynama 2006). In other words, knowledge is situated and what could be positioned as being central within postmodern accounts is a focus on self-aware reflexivity in terms of advancing theory and, in particular, the way intersectional identities could transgress universalist thought vis-à-vis the practices of both researched and researcher. This is in keeping with a body of work located within both postmodern feminist and postcolonial ethnic and racial studies.

At the heart of both modernist and postmodernist interpretations and uses of intersectionality, however, is a shared concern with how the concept can be employed to examine, in a critical light, matters of difference and diversity. However, this connection has given rise to a questioning of once trusted and certain foundations. What is the continued relevance of separate, but connected, feminist and antiracist projects that aim to be universalist and inclusive in nature? Are such notions, almost by definition, pro-Western, homogenizing, and potentially even imperialistic?

Questions arise here of organization, practices, and platforms—in a way the paradigmatic question is this: How can the intersectionality ship best be prevented from sinking into an ocean of ideas, internal contradictions, and argumentative tensions whereby even basic aims and objectives cannot be agreed upon and there are no more conceptual ports left to dock at? Intersectionality can address issues of difference and diversity in a way that does not throw the baby out with the bathwater: Inclusivity does not have to mean a “one size fits all” approach to challenging oppressive practices and, at one and the same time, the concept can challenge the ethnocentric assumptions of “white” Western feminist and antiracist thinking.

Additionally, intersectionality can position itself to give solid foundations to, for example, the study of ethnicity, class, and gender as common and connected sites of discrimination, whether concerned with how individual agency reacts against oppressive practices or with structural barriers to liberation and equality. Intersectionality does offer some reassurances to scholars working in the fields of ethnic and racial studies, or gender studies for that matter, that such traditional modernist theories are not redundant. If anything, intersectionality helps illustrate the fact that scholars of whatever persuasion within the social sciences have a job to do—theoretically, methodologically, and, one hopes, in terms of engaging with activists to help enact progressive social change.

But such ideas and arguments do sound familiar, and it is important to remember that most of the initial thinking and writing that was generated around intersectionality was not exactly new when Crenshaw first proposed the term in the late 1980s (see, for example, the seminal collection edited by Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara Smith titled All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies [1982]). Multiple oppressions on the grounds of “race,” gender, sexuality, disability, and class have long been recognized and explored in sociological circles, as well as by activists, who in the late 1960s and 1970s sought to advance the cause of, for example, a multiracial approach to so-called “revisionist” feminist thinking (hooks 1984).

One of the best examples of such progressive social movements was developed in the 1970s by the Combahee River Collective in Boston, Massachusetts. Members of this group advanced the notion of simultaneity—that is, the idea that their lived experiences and everyday realities, as well as their challenges to oppression, were all guided by the combined influences of class, “race,” gender, and sexuality. The collective actively critiqued and challenged black male perspectives, as well as white, heterosexual, middle-class feminist views, regarding the social, economic, and political conditions they faced. Indeed, the anti-essentialist, antiracist problematizing of women as a homogeneous category was crucial to the recognition that not all women shared the same situations or experiences, and that factors such as social class Page 479  |  Top of Articleand ethnicity, for example, had an impact on life chances and social mobility.

To be sure, not all feminists were white and middle-class, nor were they all antiracists: The “voices” of poor, disabled, and gay activists within some feminist and antiracist circles were being drowned out or just ignored by those intellectuals and activists, theoretically, who were on their “side” (Becker 1967). McCall (2005) has argued that one of the reasons intersectionality has been so important to the social sciences is the fact that it can be positioned as a political project: It fundamentally sets out to address and understand what happens when multiple forms of oppression and subordination work against particular individuals and communities. Although it had echoes with developments in the 1960s and 1970s, intersectionality took new approaches and perspectives to old problems.

THE APPEAL OF INTERSECTIONALITY

What was exactly “new” about intersectionality when it emerged in the late 1980s? Even though it had its roots in feminist epistemology, one of the major attractions of intersectionality was the fact that it was purposely collaborative in spirit: It could connect critical voices across a range of theoretical positions, as well as advocacy groups that were seeking to challenge the effects of class prejudice, sexism, homophobia, and racism. In addition, intersectionality offered a methodological home to those scholars who arrived at such questions via more post-modern routes. For perhaps the first time, irrespective of whether individuals and groups were searching for a political toolkit to challenge oppression or merely wanted to playfully deconstruct the foundations and imposed categories of a subordinating ideology, there was a common theoretical approach that could be shared and developed in tandem, which Nina Lykke (2005) has described as “a joint nodal point.”

For postmodernists such as Judith Butler (1989, 1993), the issue concerns “unsettling” the essentialist and reified conceptual thinking of those modernists who are engaged in critical thinking across a range of social divisions in society, not least on the whole matter of identity politics and the positioning of “self.” For modernist scholars, the postmodernist turn had led to a lack of appreciation for the real, lived, material inequalities, and experiences that poor women, black men, and transgender communities, for example, face on a daily basis.

Further, although categorization had to be problematized and held to account, a politics of identity was not altogether unhelpful in both conceptual and activist terms of reference. Social change and a “better world,” as hooks (1992, 1994) has noted, were not achieved via fanciful deconstruction but through challenging racism and sexism on the streets and in the corridors of power. Nonetheless, despite some distance between the positions, intersectionality potentially offers a theoretical and methodological bridge that connects the postmodernists and those advocating a more materialist position. One of the central focal points for intersectionality is understanding and challenging power—the way power is sought, employed, held onto, abused, and lost—and the multiple impacts it can have in terms of the continued subordination and oppression of a range of groups and communities within contemporary societies (Davis 2008). What intersectionality does well is offer several options: It can have a political purpose that aims to unsettle and challenge gender- and race-based material inequalities, but it can also assist postmodernists in their own project of anti-essentialist deconstruction and resistance to universalism, as well as allaying fears that post-modernism is too remote from the everyday lives of those facing oppression. In particular, intersectionality can help all scholars resist the so-called “additive approach” to examining identity politics.

Another reason for the appeal of intersectionality is the fact that, in a relatively short amount of time, it has been paid great attention across a range of disciplines and interests, whether sociology within gender studies or cultural geography within ethnic and racial studies. It has become, whether by design or by accident, a kind of grand theory and to a lesser extent a working methodology within the social sciences. As a term, interectionality has become synonymous with how social scientists think about and explain “difference” and identity across a range of areas, such as class, gender, and race. Intersectionality offers a conceptual and methodological map, and a road of travel, for examining social and political practices and how they reproduce and sustain oppression. In addition, intersectionality helps activists understand how challenges and resistance to oppressive social structures, institutions, and practices might form.

As Davis has noted, the concept of intersectionality appeals to authors who are “tourists” (the generalists, she calls them) in the area of feminist theory, as well as those who are “residents” (the specialists) (2008, pp. 74–75). Indeed, intersectionality has been the subject of many articles and blog posts, as well as seminars and conferences attended by both tourists and residents who have engaged with the complexities of the term. It is not hard to find the points of debate. Where are the boundaries and limits of “difference”? What are the commonalities of our identities? When proposing an intersectional approach, what social categories—if such essentialist thinking is even countenanced—are to be included and excluded? How can intersectional research and writing be best used—if at all—in unseating power and discriminatory actions? One way of drawing the lines for those adopting an Page 480  |  Top of Articleintersectional approach to research, for example, is to be clear regarding the definitions and scope of the project being undertaken, although such clarity can be hard to pin down (Valentine 2007).

ILLUSTRATING INTERSECTIONALITY: CULTURE, NATION, ETHNICITY, SEXUALITY, AND GENDER

A useful example to illustrate the interweaving complexities of intersectional approaches to social research might serve best here. Nadine Naber's recent work (2009), and especially her edited collection with Amaney Jamal titled Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11: From Invisible Subjects to Visible Subjects (2008), touches on many of the issues discussed above and aims to embrace an intersectional theoretical and methodological perspective to help understand the connections between culture, nation, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender in the context of how the world shifted after the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. Naber investigates the cultural dynamics and political processes at play in how an (Arab) “enemy within” was created in US society in the aftermath of 9/11. Her use of intersectionality explicitly acknowledges the racialized nature of such “Arab” constructions, but she also connects these constructions to their gendered and class-based roots, both in terms of representation and treatment by non-Arab Americans and resistance to oppression and subordination.

In a sense, Naber's work is a good example of what was talked about earlier with regard to Matsuda's “asking the other question” approach, examining how “race” is gendered and vice versa. A part of this strategy, for Naber, is to examine the everyday implications for Arab American men and women in terms of how they navigate US society with, for example, Arabic names and different forms of religious dress. One quotation from a women named “Farah” explains this clearly, indicating the unity and support that was apparent among “veiled women” after 9/11:

Women who wear hijab were more of a target because they're more visible than Muslim men in public. The awareness that they were in more danger and were more impacted than men could be seen by all of the events that were organized in solidarity with veiled women in response to the backlash. There were days of solidarity organized across the nation. (Naber 2009, p. 57)

What is useful in Naber's work is the fact that the historical, political, and legislative context is explained, especially detailing the legacy and continued presence of anti-immigration and discriminatory policies and laws throughout the United States. In one paper, Naber (2009) explores the intersection of gender, nation, and “race” and how the public display and wearing of the hijab by Arab Americans in contemporary US society brings with it both the opportunity for observing religious beliefs and solidarity with fellow Muslims and yet also harassment and vilification by those who would seek to denigrate and abuse such multiple identities in US public spaces. Her fieldwork “site” was the Arab immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay area of California from 2002 to 2004, where she was keen to see how the “War on Terror” was being played out in a local form: to record the “narratives of harassment” she heard from participants in her research work.

What is significant about Naber's ethnography is the fact that her evidence and argument suggest that government policies, including registrations, detentions, and deportations, led to a “Foreign Other” in political and media discourses that was presented as ostensibly Muslim, working class, immigrant, male, and, above all, dangerous. Yet, as her evidence shows, a whole range of other social categories—that is, individuals and communities—were drawn into this monitoring and surveillance “net” under the guise of “national security,” including “Arab Christians, Iranian Jews, Latinos/as, and Filipinos/as, women, and queer people, among others, illustrating that dominant US discourses on ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslims’ are not only malleable and fluid but are arbitrary, fictional, and imaginary at best” (Naber 2009, p. 51).

It is evident from Naber's work that an intersectional theoretical and methodological approach helps draw out the connections between cultural racism and nation-based racism, as well as the gendered and class-based dimensions to such contexts. As she further notes: “Racism did not operate as a separate, mutually exclusive, axis of power. Rather, it intersected with multiple axes of oppression, such as class, gender, and sexuality” (2009, p. 53). As a result, her methodology was, by necessity, intersectional in nature and included both formal interviews and participant observation, while the geography of the sites was sensitive to class-based differences within and between Arab-immigrant communities in different parts of the locality. In sum, Naber's research is a clear illustration of the methodological application of intersectionality—a theory that can, at times, be rather abstract. Further, this example shows how “race” is gendered and how gender is racialized. Although her case study involved problematizing and deconstructing social and national/religious-based categories such as “Arab,” “Middle Eastern,” and “Muslim,” her approach and method could be adopted for other groupings and communities in many other societies, a point she is keen to stress.

Page 481  |  Top of Article

THE PROBLEMS AND DILEMMAS OF INTERSECTIONALITY

Despite this illustrative clarification via the work of Naber, the puzzle remains resolutely unsolved. How did intersectionality achieve the position and status that it has within the contemporary humanities and social sciences? This is a pertinent question given that, as a body of work, it is nothing if not hazy around the conceptual and methodological edges, despite the flurry of articles being written and classes being taught on what “it” is and how “it” should be done (Phoenix and Pattynama 2006). Perhaps it is this very fluidity of perspective and interpretation, and the porous nature of its uses and parameters, that make the term so attractive and exciting (Davis 2008). It seems to be a connecting concept of discovery that can be used “anytime, anyplace, anywhere.” The possibilities and combinations are endless in terms of both theory and method for “making the familiar strange” regarding multiple oppressions.

Even so, definitions of intersectionality are hard to agree on, and that is just within the realms of feminist and antiracist social theory, never mind scholarship across all the other social categories and divisions that intersectionality seeks to attach itself to, such as sexuality, class, disability, age, and so forth (Verloo 2006). Intersectionality may be rendered ineffectual by its own paradigmatic fuzziness and the different competing interests of the social categorical tensions it aims to bring into the fold of general theory. On the other hand, part of the reason that intersectionality has generated the attention it has received is due to the fact that it is so open-ended and full of potential for exploring and finding hidden connections across and between different social categories, vis-à-vis oppression and subordination. This is surely one of the most attractive aspects of intersectionality.

Despite the attention and praise, the less enthusiastic jury is, to some extent, still out on intersectionality. For scholars such as Yuval-Davis, Kannabiran, and Vieten (2006), intersectionality is still proving itself. To have meaning and value and be useful within and outside the academy, intersectionality needs to show how it can fully bring together and resolve the competing logics, tensions, contradictions, and purposes of the social inequalities it aims to unpick in both materialist and postmodernist terms. The outcomes of embracing intersectionality, perhaps, are as important as the processes.

In a different way, in the field of feminist scholarship, authors such as Leslie McCall (2005) and Gill Valentine (2007) have argued that along with the conceptual entanglements of intersectionality there needs to be a more robust analysis and investigation into intersectionality as an actual and potential research methodology. This takes us back to the issue of “asking the other question” that was raised by Matsuda and how to practically engage with this idea in research projects that are almost always time and budget-limited and must obey research-council disciplinary conventions and codes of practice. In a sense, this is the “million dollar question.” Intersectionality is challenging and important but how can such a “fuzzy” concept apply itself usefully within the complex and unequal social world we seek to both normatively and politically understand?

CONCLUSION

We live in a confusing, complex, and contradictory world. It is worth considering this point in the context of intersectional approaches to try to make sense of this uncertainty. Ann Phoenix and Pamela Pattynama (2006), in an editorial on intersectionality for the journal European Journal of Women's Studies, perhaps described it best, suggesting that if nothing else, this loosely defined concept has enough vague and open-ended possibilities to keep us all on our theoretical toes for some time to come yet. To be sure, depending on a researcher's epistemological, methodological, and political position, intersectionality can either bring them to the discussion table or send them running from the room. For new generations of creative and progressive social researchers and activists, mindful of their own assumptions and multilayered identities, intersectionality offers a potential for the reach and impact of their work. This potential, first spotted back in the 1960s and 1970s by the likes of the Combahee River Collective in Boston, connects the various forms of oppression and subordinating practices that were in evidence back then. Of course, many of those same patterns of behavior, and the power structures that lie behind them, are still with us today and, if anything, have become more deeply entrenched given the advances of neoliberalism across the globe and the onset of the global economic recession from the late 2000s onward. There is still work to be done to understand and employ intersectionality in social research, but there is a need and there is a will, and this offers hope.

SEE ALSO Citizenship ; Feminism .

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Colin Clark (2013)
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|CX4190600252