Intersectionality as buzzword: A sociology of science perspective on what makes a feminist theory successful

Feminist Theory 9 (1):67-85 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Since its inception, the concept of `intersectionality' — the interaction of multiple identities and experiences of exclusion and subordination — has been heralded as one of the most important contributions to feminist scholarship. Despite its popularity, there has been considerable confusion concerning what the concept actually means and how it can or should be applied in feminist inquiry. In this article, I look at the phenomenon of intersectionality's spectacular success within contemporary feminist scholarship, as well as the uncertainties and confusion which it has generated. Drawing upon insights from the sociology of science, I shall show how and why intersectionality could become a feminist success story. I shall argue that, paradoxically, it is precisely the concept's alleged weaknesses — its ambiguity and open-endedness — that were the secrets to its success and, more generally, make it a good feminist theory.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,491

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Re-thinking Intersectionality.Jennifer C. Nash - 2008 - Feminist Review 89 (1):1-15.
Intersectionality and its discontents: Intersectionality as traveling theory.Sara Salem - 2018 - European Journal of Women's Studies 25 (4):403-418.
On Intersectionality, Empathy, And Feminist Solidarity: A Reply To Naomi Zack.Alison Bailey - 2009 - Journal for Peace and Justice Studies 19 (1):14-36.
Commentary The Complexity of Intersectionality.Maria Rodó-de-Zárate & Marta Jorba - 2012 - Humana.Mente - Journal of Philosophical Studies 22:189-197.
Thinking Intersectionally and Why Difference Matters in Feminist Leisure and Sport Research.Beccy Watson - 2017 - In Louise Mansfield, Jayne Caudwell, Belinda Wheaton & Beccy Watson (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Feminism and Sport, Leisure and Physical Education. Palgrave Macmillan Uk. pp. 313-334.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-11-25

Downloads
193 (#92,256)

6 months
42 (#82,764)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?