In this essay I discuss a specific notion that has become particularly influential in framing the discussion of identity and identity politics: intersectionality. I show that the original formulation of that notion was crucially intertwined with debates on class and class politics. After shedding light on the “prehistory” of intersectionality in black feminism, I discuss the original formulations of the concept in the works of Kimberlé Crenshaw and Patricia Hill Collins. A focus on the notion of “oppression” as well as on the tensions between “irreducibility” and “simultaneity” of systems of oppression in intersectional writings leads me to examine some of the pitfalls of identity politics today. An attempt to rethink the notion of class in the light of intersectionality closes the essay.

Intersectionality, Identity, and the Riddle of Class

Sandro Mezzadra
2021

Abstract

In this essay I discuss a specific notion that has become particularly influential in framing the discussion of identity and identity politics: intersectionality. I show that the original formulation of that notion was crucially intertwined with debates on class and class politics. After shedding light on the “prehistory” of intersectionality in black feminism, I discuss the original formulations of the concept in the works of Kimberlé Crenshaw and Patricia Hill Collins. A focus on the notion of “oppression” as well as on the tensions between “irreducibility” and “simultaneity” of systems of oppression in intersectional writings leads me to examine some of the pitfalls of identity politics today. An attempt to rethink the notion of class in the light of intersectionality closes the essay.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/834340
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