Intersectionality of Race, Class, Gender, and Ethnicity

Intersectionality describes a way of understanding how individuals in society maintain multiple identities, and offers dimensions to categories such as race, gender, and class. Both the term and the concept find their most recognizable roots in Black feminist and critical race scholarship wherein activists and academics worked to highlight how “mainstream” movements to combat racism, homophobia, and gender and class discrimination had neglected to consider ways that some groups are marginalized when not all aspects of their social and political identities are acknowledged.

Though scholars began writing explicitly of the necessity to complicate identity categories as early as the 1970s, legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw is often credited with originating the concept of intersectionality. In a frequently cited article, Crenshaw echoes earlier analyses noting that “women of ...

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