intersectionality

(noun) A theory arguing that individuals and their lives are affected, defined, or determined by the statuses they hold in relation to the contexts they are in.

Example: A working class woman faces gender and economic discrimination and a working class woman of color faces economic, gender, and racial discrimination.

Audio Pronunciation: (in·ter·sec·tion·al·ity)

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Usage Notes:

  • Plural: intersectionalities
  • Theory developed by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. Originally a feminist theory for explaining how different axes of social, biological, and cultural categories intersect in the lives of individuals and the difficulties of understanding one axis in isolation without looking at others and how they affect each other.
  • Also called:
    • cumulative disadvantage
    • intersection theory
    • intersectionalism
    • multiple jeopardy

Additional Information:

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Works Consulted

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How to Cite the Definition of Intersectionality

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “intersectionality.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 14, 2018 (https://sociologydictionary.org/intersectionality/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

intersectionality. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/intersectionality/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “intersectionality.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 14, 2018. https://sociologydictionary.org/intersectionality/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“intersectionality.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 14 Dec. 2018. <https://sociologydictionary.org/intersectionality/>.