Pursuing Intersectionality, Unsettling Dominant Imaginaries by Vivian M. May

By Vivian M. May

Pursuing Intersectionality, Unsettling Dominant Imaginaries deals a sustained, interdisciplinary exploration of intersectional principles, histories, and practices that no different textual content does. Deftly synthesizing a lot of the prevailing literatures on intersectionality, some of the most major theoretical and political precepts of our time, could invitations us to confront a disconcerting challenge: even though intersectionality is celebrated, acclaimed, and utilized, it's always construed in ways in which depoliticize, undercut, or maybe violate its most simple premises. could cogently demonstrates how intersectionality has been many times resisted, misunderstood, and misapplied: provocatively, she indicates the measure to which intersectionality is frequently undone or undermined by means of supporters and critics alike. A clarion name to have interaction intersectionality’s radical rules, histories, and justice orientations extra meaningfully, Pursuing Intersectionality solutions the fundamental questions surrounding intersectionality, attends to its ancient roots in Black feminist thought and politics, and gives insights and techniques from around the disciplines for bracketing dominant logics and for orienting towards intersectional tendencies and practices.

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Extra info for Pursuing Intersectionality, Unsettling Dominant Imaginaries

Sample text

To conceive of intersectionality as unchanging, homogenous, or beyond critique is problematic: I do not suggest otherwise. Intersectionality has resonances, dissonances, and differing iterations (though there has been a heavier emphasis on naming flaws and less emphasis on noting distorting uses and interpretations). However, approaching it as so malleable and unspecific as to be usable for overtly discriminatory or harmful ends and still be characterized as “intersectionality” would mean the contexts of its use and history of its emergence are immaterial (when they are pertinent) and that manipulations of coercive power and furthering oppression in its name are fitting (when they are objectionable).

Though widely recognized, intersectionality also is regularly used or talked about in ways that flatten its complexity, ignore its historical literatures, or depoliticize its approach. Many applications let intersectionality drop or systematize it in ways that may render it more usable as an instrument, but in so doing also obviate key premises. This suggests intersectionality might not in fact be so fully or easily understood. Intersectionality invites us to bracket hegemonic mindsets and resist the lure(s) of oppressive power so as to achieve a more just world: are any of us so fully “liberated” from conventional ways of thinking and being that we need not engage in any further thought about intersectional meanings, practices, and histories?

Intersectionality is an epistemological practice that contests dominant imaginaries: drawing on different foundational premises, it is useful for interrogating conventional knowledge practices and for unpacking gaps and silences therein. Intersectionality is an ontological project that accounts for multiplicity and complex subjectivity, reconceptualizes agency, and attends to simultaneous privilege and oppression. Intersectionality invites us to take up a radical coalitional political orientation grounded in solidarity, rather than sameness, as a basis for working collectively to eradicate inequalities.

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