Decolonizing the Intersection: Black Male Studies as a Critique of Intersectionality’s Indebtedness to Subculture of Violence Theory

In Robert Beshara (ed.), Critical Psychology Praxis: Psychosocial Non-Alignment to Modernity/Coloniality. New York: pp. 132-154 (2021)
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Intersectionality has utilized various feminist theories that continue subculture of violence thinking about Black men and boys. While intersectional feminists often claim that intersectionality leads to a clearer social analysis of power and hierarchies throughout society and within groups, the categories and claims of intersectionality fail to distinguish themselves from previously racist theories that sought to explain race, class, and gender, based on subcultural values. This article is the first to interrogate the theories used to construct the gendered categories and the assumptions behind Black male positionality under intersectional analyses. Contrary to its promises for more liberated Black identities, intersectionality merely replicates the pseudo-science of racist criminology and presents decades old theories as cutting-edge gender analyses. In short, while intersectionality has allowed Black women to create nuanced experiences and epistemological accounts of Black womanhood, the very same theory has confined Black male experience to the perpetration of violence and defined Black manhood as lesser—merely the exemplification of white masculinity’s pathological excess.

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Tommy J. Curry
University of Edinburgh


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