Concept Of Intersectionality

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CONCEPT OF INTERSECTIONALITY

According to Gill Valentine (2007), the concept of intersectionality is used by feminists within the wider social sciences to theorise the relationship between different social categories of race, gender, sexuality, age, and so on (Valentine 2007, 10). In Minow (1997) “Not only for myself: Identity, politics, and the law”, intersectionality is defined as “the way in which any particular individual stands at the crossroads of multiple groups” (quoted in Valentine 2007, 12). In other words, it is a theory that people can be understood through intersecting multifaceted social identities such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and social class which for example, is understanding the experience of a black middle
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West and Fenstermaker (1995, 9) argued that “there is a need for new models to rethink intersections of systems of oppression and how structures of power are organised around intersecting relations of race, class, and gender to frame social positions of individuals...and to produce social locations for us all” (cited in Valentine 2007, 13). In this sense, West and Fenstermaker (1995) emphasised that identities are situated accomplishments and not individual attributes where gender, race, and class are simultaneously experiences by an individual. These situated accomplishments are often accomplished through interaction with others where more fluids come together to create positions, identities, and differences which can be made and unmade, claimed and rejected (cited in Valentine 2007, 13-14). It is further stressed by West and Fenstermaker that these accomplishments are accountable within institutional…show more content…
Moreover, it does not consider that multiple axes of social categories are intersected without any inconvenience, but rather that they intersect in various ways. It further suggests that identities are fragmented and constructed by multiple facets of social axis. Intersectionality as situated accomplishment also recognises that individuals are actively involved in producing their own lives which make them capable of overcoming their fixed identities as oppressed or oppressor. Although the theorising of intersectionality has referred and emphasised on the importance identities, it has paid little attention to the significance of space and time in the processes of subject formation (Valentine 2007, 14). Relatedly, Staunæs (2003) also opined that feminists in the wider social sciences have not given equivalent consideration to how to research empirically in how the different categories work and intersect in the lived experiences of subjects (cited in Valentine 2007, 14). In this way, Staunæs interprets that intersectionality as a theory of macro-level does not highlight how diverse social categories such as gender and race function in the subjective experience of the
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