Framing Intersectionality

In The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race. pp. 335-348 (2017)
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Intersectionality is a term that arose within the black feminist intellectual tradition for the purposes of identifying interlocking systems of oppression. As a descriptive term, it refers to the ways human identity is shaped by multiple social vectors and overlapping identity categories (such as sex, race, class) that may not be readily visible in single-axis formulations of identity, but which are taken to be integral to robustly capture the multifaceted nature of human experience. As a diagnostic term, it captures the confluence of power and domination on the social construction of identity in order to remedy concrete harms that result from this convergence. It is not a prescriptive methodology or closed system of analysis, but rather an open-ended hermeneutic lens through which interconnected systems of oppression can come into focus in the fight for social justice.

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Elena Ruíz
Michigan State University


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