Intersectionality: An Intellectual History

Oxford University Press
Free sample

Intersectionality theory has emerged over the past thirty years as a way to think about the avenues by which inequalities (most often dealing with, but not limited to, race, gender, class and sexuality) are produced. Rather than seeing such categories as signaling distinct identities that can be adopted, imposed or rejected, intersectionality theory considers the logic by which each of these categories is socially constructed as well as how they operate within the diffusion of power relations. In other words, social and political power are conferred through categories of identity, and these identities bear vastly material effects. Rather than look at inequalities as a relationship between those at the center and those on the margins, intersectionality maps the relative ways in which identity politics create power. Though intersectionality theory has emerged as a highly influential school of thought in ethnic studies, gender studies, law, political science, sociology and psychology, no scholarship to date exists on the evolution of the theory. In the absence of a comprehensive intellectual history of the theory, it is often discussed in vague, ahistorical terms. And while scholars have called for greater specificity and attention to the historical foundations of intersectionality theory, their idea of the history to be included is generally limited to the particular currents in the United States. This book seeks to remedy the vagueness and murkiness attributed to intersectionality by attending to the historical, geographical, and cross-disciplinary myopia afflicting current intersectionality scholarship. This comprehensive intellectual history is an agenda-setting work for the theory.
Read more

About the author

Ange-Marie Hancock is Associate Professor of Political Science and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California.
Read more

Reviews

Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Read more
Published on
Dec 10, 2015
Read more
Pages
272
Read more
ISBN
9780199370382
Read more
Read more
Best For
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Political Science / General
Social Science / Demography
Social Science / Gender Studies
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Esther Rothblum
Winner of the 2010 Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology

Winner of the 2010 Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Edited Volume in Women’s Studies from the Popular Culture Association

We have all seen the segments on television news shows: A fat person walking on the sidewalk, her face out of frame so she can't be identified, as some disconcerting findings about the "obesity epidemic" stalking the nation are read by a disembodied voice. And we have seen the movies—their obvious lack of large leading actors silently speaking volumes. From the government, health industry, diet industry, news media, and popular culture we hear that we should all be focused on our weight. But is this national obsession with weight and thinness good for us? Or is it just another form of prejudice—one with especially dire consequences for many already disenfranchised groups?

For decades a growing cadre of scholars has been examining the role of body weight in society, critiquing the underlying assumptions, prejudices, and effects of how people perceive and relate to fatness. This burgeoning movement, known as fat studies, includes scholars from every field, as well as activists, artists, and intellectuals. The Fat Studies Reader is a milestone achievement, bringing together fifty-three diverse voices to explore a wide range of topics related to body weight. From the historical construction of fatness to public health policy, from job discrimination to social class disparities, from chick-lit to airline seats, this collection covers it all.

Edited by two leaders in the field, The Fat Studies Reader is an invaluable resource that provides a historical overview of fat studies, an in-depth examination of the movement’s fundamental concerns, and an up-to-date look at its innovative research.

Nicholas Terpstra
In 1554, a group of idealistic laywomen founded a home for homeless and orphaned adolescent girls in one of the worst neighborhoods in Florence. Of the 526 girls who lived in the home during its fourteen-year tenure, only 202 left there alive. Struck by the unusually high mortality rate, Nicholas Terpstra sets out to determine what killed the lost girls of the House of Compassion shelter (Casa della Pietà).

Reaching deep into the archives' letters, ledgers, and records from both inside and outside the home, he slowly pieces together the tragic story. The Casa welcomed girls in bad health and with little future, hoping to save them from an almost certain life of poverty and drudgery. Yet this "safe" house was cruelly dangerous. Victims of Renaissance Florence’s sexual politics, these young women were at the disposal of the city’s elite men, who treated them as property meant for their personal pleasure.

With scholarly precision and journalistic style, Terpstra uncovers and chronicles a series of disturbing leads that point to possible reasons so many girls died: hints of routine abortions, basic medical care for sexually transmitted diseases, and appalling conditions in the textile factories where the girls worked.

Church authorities eventually took the Casa della Pietà away from the women who had founded it and moved it to a better part of Florence. Its sordid past was hidden, until now, in an official history that bore little resemblance to the orphanage’s true origins. Terpstra’s meticulous investigation not only uncovers the sad fate of the lost girls of the Casa della Pietà but also explores broader themes, including gender relations, public health, church politics, and the challenges girls and adolescent women faced in Renaissance Florence.

Ange-Marie Hancock
Intersectionality theory has emerged over the past thirty years as a way to think about the avenues by which inequalities (most often dealing with, but not limited to, race, gender, class and sexuality) are produced. Rather than seeing such categories as signaling distinct identities that can be adopted, imposed or rejected, intersectionality theory considers the logic by which each of these categories is socially constructed as well as how they operate within the diffusion of power relations. In other words, social and political power are conferred through categories of identity, and these identities bear vastly material effects. Rather than look at inequalities as a relationship between those at the center and those on the margins, intersectionality maps the relative ways in which identity politics create power. Though intersectionality theory has emerged as a highly influential school of thought in ethnic studies, gender studies, law, political science, sociology and psychology, no scholarship to date exists on the evolution of the theory. In the absence of a comprehensive intellectual history of the theory, it is often discussed in vague, ahistorical terms. And while scholars have called for greater specificity and attention to the historical foundations of intersectionality theory, their idea of the history to be included is generally limited to the particular currents in the United States. This book seeks to remedy the vagueness and murkiness attributed to intersectionality by attending to the historical, geographical, and cross-disciplinary myopia afflicting current intersectionality scholarship. This comprehensive intellectual history is an agenda-setting work for the theory.
©2017 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.