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Anti-Racism: a Learning Guide

This library guide aims to share resources about the effects of racism and promote anti-racist action/consciousness



What is Intersectionality?


Intersectionality is an analytic tool pioneered by women of color concerned to emphasize the operation of race , ethnicity , class, and gender as interlocking, mutually constructing systems of power. In grappling with their experiences of marginalization within the feminist and civil rights movements, black feminists such as Angela Davis (1982) elaborated the historical and contemporary fissures between agendas of social change based on either the dimension of race or gender alone. Proponents of intersectionality argue that approaches to discrimination that focus on single category descriptions fail to reflect the reality that people inhabit multiple identities, that they are members of more than one community at the same time, and that as a result it is possible for a person to experience both disadvantage and privilege simultaneously. Legal theorist Dr. Kimberlé W. Crenshaw is often cited as a conceptual entrepreneur on this issue, detailing the structural, political, and representational dimensions of intersectionality in her analysis of black women’s experiences in employment (1989) and domestic violence and rape (1991). An important component of intersectional analysis is the view that oppression is not additive but multiplicative; that is, that oppressions combine in complex and interwoven ways to create novel interaction e ff ects. Concern should be focused less on demonstrating added burden or victimization as a result of multiple oppressions, but rather on how particular combinations of identities produce qualitatively different experiences and thus demand remedies attuned to the mutually reinforcing nature of racial and gender subordination. An agenda for empowerment that works to advance the rights of some identity groups may not be effectual for others.

Source/Citation in APA Style:
Ansell, A., & Solomos, J. (2013). Race and ethnicity : The key concepts. ProQuest Ebook Central