WGS101H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Intersectionality, Eurocentrism, Consciousness Raising

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11 Feb 2016
Natalie Ianniello
June 2, 2015
Lecture #4 – Critical Intersectionality
Intersectionality - A conceptual tool for analyzing di&erences that
allows us to think about multiple identities and how they may be
interconnected in complex ways
Kimberle Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality and developed an
analysis that consider how interlocking systems of oppressions,
complex identities, and social inequalities a&ect people’s lives
It is long used by black feminist theories
Identities are multiple and include the many social categories such as
race, class, immigrant, etc.
Positionality – identities are also shaped by our experiences and social
Used to refer to our locations in our communities
Situated knowledge – knowledge gained by our positionality
Categories such as sex, gender, race and class long been used to
classify everyday experience
They depend on categories and reinforced binary divisions
Considered boxes to keep people in their place
Through binaries feminists and other theorists imagined they could
understand and explain what they observed
Intersectionality has revealed the limitations of binary thinking
Intersectionality recognizes that the multiplicity and diversity of
experiences and social locations or positionalities central to analysis
All women experience di&erent things
Locations and positionalities exist within frameworks of power
Power - systems of domination and subordination, exclusion and
inclusion and hierarchies of power and privileges
Power is also about empowerment, it can be struggled against, it can
be productive and it could be shared
Power is embedded in whiteness
Power can also be attained through knowledge
Knowledge can be shared with others and as others gain knowledge
they are empowered
Empowerment is collective, expansive and bene7cial
Understanding power in all its complexity is important for feminists
because it helps understand inclusion and exclusion
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