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Intersectional-Gender and the Locationality of Women “in Transit”

Chapter
Part of the International Perspectives on Migration book series (IPMI, volume 1)

Abstract

The chapter analyzes the privileges and power within feminist scholarship as a crucial issue for gender and migration studies. The starting point is that when feminism defines itself from the Western perspective, excluding any other vision of gender equality, other women’s point of views are inevitably silenced and negated. Since the 1980s, this asymmetry of power has created many divides within feminism and posed Third-world/black women against West/white women. This chapter challenges the West vs. Third-world binarism within feminist theory and the related dichotomy that opposes gender equality to cultural difference by representing feminism as a multicentered and multifaceted theory.

“Multicentered feminism” is described as a theoretical frame that incorporates the perspectives of women from the margins and underlines the interrelatedness of the different social categories that together create women’s subordination. Intersectionality is embraced as an approach to address the complex locationality of women who stake at the crossroad of interconnecting conditions of subordination. As a response to a long tradition of essentialism within feminist and race scholarship, the intersectionality approach focuses on the subjects that fall in-between the fixed and isolated categories used to examine social life. Intersectionality addresses the ways in which the structures of race, class, and gender shape women’s lives and influence their behavior. Since gender is a transversal but not a transcultural condition, it must be analyzed through the intersectional approach in order to avoid ethnocentric essentialization. Thinking about gender as connected, inter- and intra-acting with all the other social conditions, gender is conceived as inherently constituted and simultaneously shaped by race/ethnicity, culture/religion, and educational/occupational levels. The concept of “intersectional-gender” is proposed as an analytical category useful to conceptualize the formation and transformation of gender identities of women “in transit” whose locationality is extremely complex for their moving across different nation-states and communities and belonging to several groups at the same time.

Keywords

Black Woman Gender Identity Gender Equality Feminist Theory Muslim Woman 
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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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Political and Constitutional StudiesMadridSpain

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