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 Okay, offer Robinson’s hot takes on dating, feminism and intersectionality, beauty standards, casting calls and money problems. Taiia Smart Young, Essence, "Phoebe Robinson Amplifies Diverse Voices with New Book Imprint," 8 July 2020 Earl Fowlkes, president and CEO of the Center for Black Equity, stresses that intersectionality is important now more than ever. Jonathan Borge,, "The Queer Black History Of Rioting," 15 June 2020 As the intersectionality of the movement to dismantle storied, racist systems in America becomes clearer, companies have been posting about their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Mckenna Moore, Fortune, "An inclusion expert and a CEO on how businesses can keep the anti-racist momentum going," 9 June 2020 Patterson said many climate change organizations and environmental leaders are still slow to fully embrace intersectionality as part of their mission. NBC News, "Why 'I can't breathe' is resonating with environmental justice activists," 23 Apr. 2020 Infighting and conversations about intersectionality has also caused a drop in attendance, according to NPR. Halley Bondy, NBC News, "In the know: Women in the news 1/20-1/24," 24 Jan. 2020 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

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

12 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intersectionality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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