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 What is “intersectionality”?

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PostSubject: What is “intersectionality”?    What is “intersectionality”?  Icon_minitimeMon Jan 29, 2018 10:52 pm

Reading this actually made me want to kill myself. Which is probably a large part of the point.



“Intersectionality is a theory which considers that the various aspects of humanity, such as class, race, sexual orientation and gender, do not exist separately from each other, but are complexly interwoven, and that their relationships are essential to an understanding of the human condition. When systems of justice or other entities attempt to look at each aspect in isolation, then misconceptions may occur and essential understandings may be lost.[1][2] The theory proposes that individuals think of each element or trait of a person as inextricably linked with all of the other elements in order to fully understand one's identity.[3] The term was coined by the American feminist legal scholar, critical race theorist, and civil rights advocate Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw.

This framework, it is argued by its proponents, can be used to understand systemic injustice and social inequality in many ways.[4] Proponents claim that racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and religious or other belief-based bigotry and persecution—do not act independently of each other. Instead, these forms of oppression interrelate, creating a system of oppression that reflects the "intersection" of multiple forms of discrimination.[5]

Under this hypothesis, identities usually are not addressed or mapped out in normal social discourses and often come with their own set of oppression, domination, and discrimination. Laws and policies usually only address one form of marginalized identity. The overlapping of multiple oppressed identities often go overlooked. Since these identities are ignored, there is a lack of resources needed to combat the discrimination, and the oppression is cyclically perpetuated.[6]

Intersectionality proposes that all aspects of one's identity need to be examined as simultaneously interacting with each other and affecting one's privilege and perception in society, and that these facets of identity cannot simply be observed separately. As such, intersectionality is not simply a view of personal identity, but rather an overarching analysis of power hierarchies present within identities. The framework of intersectionality also provides an insight into how multiple systems of oppression interrelate and are interactive.[7] Intersectionality is not a static field; rather, it is dynamic and constantly developing as response to formations of complex social inequalities. Intersectionality can be seen as an "overarching knowledge project".[2] Within this overarching umbrella, there are multiple knowledge projects that evolve "in tandem with changes in the interpretive communities that advance them".[2]

Intersectionality is an important paradigm in academic scholarship and broader contexts such as social justice work, but difficulties arise due to the many complexities involved in making "multidimensional conceptualizations"[8] that explain the way in which socially constructed categories of differentiation interact to create a social hierarchy. For example, intersectionality holds that there is no singular experience of an identity. Rather than understanding women's health solely through the lens of gender, it is necessary to consider other social categories such as class, ability, nation or race, to have a fuller understanding of the range of women's health concerns.

The theory of intersectionality also suggests that seemingly discrete forms and expressions of oppression are shaped by one another (mutually co-constitutive).[9] Thus, in order to fully understand the racialization of oppressed groups, one must investigate the ways in which racializing structures, social processes and social representations (or ideas purporting to represent groups and group members in society) are shaped by gender, class, sexuality, etc.”

 

___________
“Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...”.  -N

“A man is not great if he is not small, and he is not small if he is not great. Concepts flirt with the loss of their significance in the oscillation between ambiguous states, and this is in part the function and purpose of concepts.” -Primer on Meaning
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