in·​ter·​sec·​tion·​al·​i·​ty | \ ˌin-tər-ˌsek-shə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce intersectionality (audio) \

Definition of intersectionality

: the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups [Kimberlé] Crenshaw introduced the theory of intersectionality, the idea that when it comes to thinking about how inequalities persist, categories like gender, race, and class are best understood as overlapping and mutually constitutive rather than isolated and distinct.— Adia Harvey Wingfield

Examples of intersectionality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The casual absorption of terms such as intersectionality, diversity, and feminism into mainstream culture can short-circuit the analytical work those terms typically perform in more considered discursive compasses. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, "Seeing No Evil," 25 Mar. 2020 According to Lisa Nakamura, a University of Michigan professor who studies digital media, race, and intersectionality, cancel culture comes from trying to wrest control in a context in which there is little. Soraya Roberts, Longreads, "A Crying Public Shame," 14 Mar. 2020 Universities have an imperative to recognize the intersectionality of climate justice and divest from these unethical, extractive and exploitative industries. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Protesters Interrupt Harvard-Yale Football Game to Fight Back Against Climate Change," 24 Nov. 2019 Focused on intersectionality, Ogbu recognizes that climate change is a result of many systems of oppression. Rachel Janfaza, Teen Vogue, "9 Climate Activists of Color You Should Know," 3 Jan. 2020 But today, concepts like safe spaces, trigger warnings, microaggression, intersectionality, de-platforming and other American buzzwords are gaining ground on French campuses. Mattia Ferraresi, WSJ, "Cancel Culture Comes to France," 6 Feb. 2020 This is solidarity, this is intersectionality, Pride is telling us. Micah L. Sifry, The New Republic, "The Loneliness of the Resistance Protester," 15 Jan. 2020 And ultimately, that whole article is talking about intersectionality in and of itself—what black women were doing to subvert. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rachel Cargle Insists Rest Is the Real Revolution for Black Women," 6 Nov. 2019 The implications of ancestral travel ring especially true for journalist Nneka Okona, who focuses on intersectionality within the travel space. Shanika Hillocks, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Women of Color Are Reimagining Their Travel Narrative," 18 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intersectionality.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intersectionality

1989, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of intersectionality was in 1989

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intersectionality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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