Intersectionality – a journey with the concept, a critique and new ideas

  • Ann-Dorte Christensen
  • Sune Qvotrup Jensen
Keywords: Intersectionality, gender, travelling concepts, ethnic minority men, femonationalism.

Abstract

During the last 30 years, intersectionality has been a concept, which has travelled across disciplines and national contexts. This article analyses this journey both in view of the authors’ understanding of intersectionality and in a perspective informed by literature on travelling concepts and theories. This  literature has pointed out that such travels are often productive and dynamic, but also may entail conflict. The travels of intersectionality have engendered conflict and debate. The article discusses core issues of the most recent debate: a) whether the concept concerns ethnic minority women specifically, b) whether in the European reception of the concept the issue of race has been marginalized, c) whether men can be intersectional subjects and, d) whether the concept primarily concerns structures or identities. The latter point seems to be reductionist, which is in opposition to the intersectional principle of carrying out multidimensional analyses of how different forms of social differentiation constitute each other across different levels of the social. This point is illustrated in the article by showing how contemporary discourses about gender, ethnicity and gender equality on a structural level frame the subject positions of ethnic minority men. This shapes these men’s experiences on the level of identity and everyday life.

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Published
2019-11-25