Power, Intersectionality and the Politics of Belonging

  • Nira Yuval-Davis


Politics involve exercise of power and different hegemonic political projects of belonging represent different symbolic power orders.1 In recent years, the sociological understanding of power has been enriched by the theoretical contributions of Michel Foucault (1979; 1991a) and Pierre Bourdieu (1984; 1990). Traditionally, power was understood and measured by the effects those with power had on others. Feminists and other grass roots activists, following Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970), promoted a notion of ‘empowerment’ in which people would gain ‘power of’ rather than ‘power on’. While this approach has been used too often to cover intracommunal power relations and the feminist ‘tyranny of structurelessness’ with which Jo Freeman (1970) described the dynamics of feminist politics, the notion of empowerment does fit alternative theoretical approaches to power which focus on symbolic power.


Feminist Politics Social Location Symbolic Power Political Project Feminist Ethic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Nira Yuval-Davis 2016

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  • Nira Yuval-Davis

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