Intersectional Criminology: Interrogating Identity and Power in Criminological Research and Theory

Abstract

Intersectional criminology is a theoretical approach that necessitates a critical reflection on the impact of interconnected identities and statuses of individuals and groups in relation to their experiences with crime, the social control of crime, and any crime-related issues. This approach is grounded in intersectionality, a concept developed from the tenets of women of color feminist theory and activism. To demonstrate how intersectionality is useful in criminology, this article reviews a sampling of feminist and critical research conducted on Black girls’ and women’s experiences with crime, victimization, and criminal legal system processes. This research demonstrates the interlaced social impacts of race, gender, femininity/masculinity ideals, sexuality, and socioeconomic class. This article also provides a basis for widely deploying an intersectional approach throughout the field of criminology across all social identities and statuses.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Sometimes worded as “Ar’n’t I a woman?” (See Gilbert 1998[1850], Narrative of Sojourner Truth.).

  2. 2.

    Painter has argued that convention secretary Marius Robinson’s records of Truth’s speech is closer to Truth’s actual wording, which does not record any statements of “Ar’n’t/Ain’t I a woman?,” than to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frances Dana Gage’s account written 12 years after the convention.

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Correspondence to Hillary Potter.

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Potter, H. Intersectional Criminology: Interrogating Identity and Power in Criminological Research and Theory. Crit Crim 21, 305–318 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-013-9203-6

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Keywords

  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • White Woman
  • Black Woman
  • Feminist Theory
  • Black Girl