The Intersections of Sexuality, Gender, and Race: Identity Research at the Crossroads
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- Warner, L.R. & Shields, S.A. Sex Roles (2013) 68: 803. doi:10.1007/s11199-013-0281-4
Psychology’s engagement with an intersectional perspective on social identities continues to grow. This special issue is significant in its use of intersectionality to complicate thinking about sexual orientation as a singular, homogenous category. Furthermore, it spotlights how intersectional positions within the range of sexual minority identities articulate with multiple other dimensions of identity, including gender, racial ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age. In addition to recognizing the important contributions of this issue’s authors, in this commentary we relate their efforts to current trends in intersectionality research, including the contrasting ways intersectionality is applied in psychology. We observe that the authors portray intersectionality as either primarily concerned with multiple marginalized identities or as a more generalized theory of identity, and the authors use intersectionality as a framework, a theory, and an approach to social justice. We then address critiques of intersectionality theory that appear in the field of feminist/gender studies, showing how articles in this special issue both exemplify and challenge those critiques. Last, we focus on next steps in intersectionality research, focusing especially on the question of how intersectionality can best inform theory and methods in psychology.