intersectionality

noun
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

Though the night obviously attempted to turn the topic toward intersectionality, microphones were still continually handed to white men, and, therefore, the narrative was co-opted at several turns. Sandra Song, Teen Vogue, "The Golden Globes 2018 Had a Huge Representation Problem," 8 Jan. 2018 The language of intersectionality is popular among liberals and on the left, used to denote the speaker’s attention to the subtleties of structural oppression. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 The National Science Foundation shouldn’t be spending a cent on intersectionality brainwashing. WSJ, "Give No Triple Points for ‘Gender Differences’," 22 Nov. 2018 Films such as Selma, 12 Years a Slave, and Moonlight all grapple with some of these topics while also tackling Black intersectionality. Joelle Monique, Teen Vogue, ""If Beale Street Could Talk" Highlights the Power of Love in a World Designed for Black People to Fail," 9 Jan. 2019 People now in progressive politics talks about this thing, intersectionality. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: ‘Dear America’ author Jose Antonio Vargas on Recode Decode," 24 Nov. 2018 The National Science Foundation pours millions of taxpayer dollars into intersectionality and microaggression studies to smoke out invisible STEM sexism and to promote diversity in research labs. Heather Mac Donald, WSJ, "Sorry, Feminists, Men Are Better at Scrabble," 16 Nov. 2018 In addition to that rousing speech, Truth is often remembered for embodying the spirit of intersectionality, far before the concept became a tenet of modern-day feminism. Shammara Lawrence, Teen Vogue, "Women's History Month: 3 Women Who Changed America," 30 Mar. 2018 Later in the paper, and perhaps in anticipation of critique, Crenshaw explains intersectionality literally. Kory Stamper, The Cut, "A Brief, Convoluted History of the Word ‘Intersectionality’," 9 Mar. 2018

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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Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

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The first known use of intersectionality was in 1989

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