Seven Types of Intersectionality

Posted, for no better reason than attention-seeking, over at Medium.


“Intersectionality” finally names a projected system of correspondences: between social structure and lived experience, between lived experience and theory, between theory and political practice, between political practice and discursive representation. (And within theory: I have seen it claimed that an intersectional “approach” or even “method” is necessary in order to accomplish an intersectional analysis). Each “post” in this system is related to the others via its intersectional character, as if intersectionality were a global semantic “bus” routing messages from post to post. What may seem semantically unstable or protean to the uninitiated is thus in fact highly systematic. But a signifier capable of doing this kind of universal mediating work is no longer functioning as a descriptor; it is rather, like “power” in Foucault or “difference” in Deleuze, being employed meta-descriptively as the “glue” holding a system together, or as the guarantor of an idiom.