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(en) France, Alternative libertaire #221 - Intersectionality: Gender, race and class standing convention (fr) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 27 Nov 2012 12:59:13 +0200

From August 29 to September 2, held in Lausanne, the 6th Congress of feminist studies. He was devoted to the nesting relationships of power: gender, race, class and sexuality. The choice of this theme reflects the dynamism of this type of approaches from feminist circles. ---- In the 1970s, the United States, activists African American lesbians are confronted with practical difficulties especially in terms of priorities and struggle posed to them argue with the fact that white feminists or activists blacks black panthers. White feminists are not very sensitive to the specific oppressions faced by black women. Heterosexual women are ashamed of lesbians in their ranks, trying to invisibiliser their presence and do not take into account the claims of the latter.

Side of black political organizations, activists African-American face machismo. A group of black lesbians, the Combahee River (1964-1980), raises these questions and argues the need to consider the overlapping oppressions sexist, racist and classist without hierarchy. The approach in terms of nesting is therefore a constitutive dimension of Black feminism.

Black feminism to the intersectionality

In 1991, a lawyer and university American Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality. This notion opposes the oppression of additional approaches. The goal of the approach put forward by Kimberlé Crenshaw is primarily legal: it seeks to justify the establishment of specific aid to oppressed social classes. In fact, in the U.S. and Canadian companies, intersectionality has become an important public policy of affirmative action for minorities discriminated destination. In fact, some complain that through the concept of intersectionality, occurs institutionalization of issues that Black feminism was discussed in a more clearly activist.

The concept of intersectionality known from a theoretical international success resulting in multiple searches. However, this notion is also subject to a number of theoretical debates. It seems to be linked to a postmodern approach relations of domination. Firstly, it seems to lead to the fragmentation of political subjects.

Articulation of social relations

Every social situation is an immeasurable experience with other social groups. For example, black women can not combine so problematic that white women because their situation of oppression is not the same. In addition, although the specificity of intersectional oppression of each group is constructed by social status, recognition of this specificity becomes a major issue. Therefore, the purpose of the struggle seems to be at a moral recognition that could lead to a reification, a naturalization apparent identities. Thus, the notion of "class" may appear in the context of North American theories, which emphasize the effects of domination through language as a linguistic category more than an objective material conditions.

Parallel and independently developed in France a different approach from the work of sociologist Danièle Kergoat. The latter has located his theorizing in the tradition of Marxism and materialist feminism. She did not share the cultural dimensions of oppression, but the division of labor. The analysis then focuses on the social relations from economic exploitation of labor as social construct two hierarchical groups. Social relations which have a size of oppression in the form of violence, and political domination, therefore have a material economic base. However, these social relations are not only capitalists but also eg gender relations that divide society into two classes of sex. These social relations are not hierarchically but coconstruisent them. They are consubstantial to each other. For example in the exploitation suffered a maid immigrants, class relations, gender and race are inextricably mixed. Social relations are also coextensive. This is reflected for example in the place that women occupy in domestic social relations. And the fact that caring for children than men, has implications for wage inequality suffered by women. A woman who takes a part-time care for children has a career slowed compared to a man whose work is based on availability at the involvement of his wife in household chores.

Plurality of oppressions

A question arises concerning the different power relations embedded: what are they and are they unlimited? And some analysis added to the triptych gender, race and class, sexuality, religion or age. The materialist approach in terms of social relations has another theoretical advantage is that it sets a clear standard without deciding a priori manner and transhistorical what these power relations. Indeed, there are reports that when there is a social division of labor and economic exploitation. Thus, heteronormativity is not a social report, but a dimension of gender relations. There is a relationship of exploitation between men and women, but not between homosexuals and heterosexuals.

It is possible to see that the anarchist analysis can enrich the theory of co-construction of social relations. In fact, the state is not considered by classical theorists of anarchism as a mere superstructure. It is a real social economic report based on a division of labor between governed and governors with the formation of a professional political class. The state has its own economic base material through both public companies and use tax. Similarly, the critical vertical division of labor, eg between manual and intellectual workers, and then after the Second World War, with the techno-critical, anarchist analyzes allow to highlight the existence of social relations are not only related to inequality in the private ownership of the means of production, but also in the technical organization of work.

by Irene - Libertarian Alternative Orleans
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