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Intersectionality Theory - Research Paper Example

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Name of student: Topic: Lecturer: Date of Presentation: Intersectionality Theory The intersectionality theory helps us to understand most of the issues that affect our social lives. It explains how different socially created categories interact with each other especially gender to create someone’s place in the social hierarchies…
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Intersectionality Theory
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Download file to see previous pages According to this theory, there is no race just color hence race is a social construction. It also argues that there is no gender and sexuality but just bodies hence gender and sexuality differences are socially constructed. When children are born, they are socialized into different roles that define their gender and sexuality and are made aware of the superiority of the male gender over the female. They also grow up knowing that heterosexuality is the norm hence being gay or lesbian is unacceptable. The biological factors therefore do not count in categorizing people and oppressing them but the society constrains individuals to behave in a certain way. However, changing the system may allow individuals to liberate themselves and invent other laws, ideas and social institutions to guide behavior. Feminism movements have been very critical in performing this role especially by eliminating gender differences that are the bases of social inequalities. Women are socialized into believing that they are inferior to men and that their place is in the kitchen although in recent years women have been absorbed in the workplace but still they are engaged in the service sector which is lowly paid. They also take up part time jobs due to their caring role for the family and rarely work away from home. Gender differences are therefore apparent in the society not based on biological but social factors. Aulette explains how gender differences play a part during natural disasters; they disadvantage the females although in isolated cases they also disadvantage men. Wearing long clothes, not learning how to swim, nurturing role contributed to many female deaths during the Tsunami. According to Aulette et al. gender is part of network of social inequalities. No single social category is sufficient to understand social oppression hence gender combines with race ethnicity, sexuality, religion, disability, age, class and nationality to produce social inequalities. Being a woman denies one economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment, health and survival. Combined with other categories such as race, worsens the situation. A black woman is considered inferior to a white woman hence even if one is educated; she still suffers oppression due to race ethnicity. If the woman is a lesbian, even if she is white she is considered inferior to a heterosexual. A man of low social class may be considered superior in his community or household but compared to a white high class woman, he is inferior. One cannot therefore be judged using one social category; rather the categories intersect to create a place for an individual. For example, one may be regarded as a black African female from a middle or low social class and a lesbian. The theory also states that there is no universally valid way to be a man or woman Aulette et al. some forms of masculinity and feminity are more dominant in society hence leading to formation of subordinate or marginalized categories. People are only socialized to believing there is a right way to be a man or woman and if one does not behave in such a way, he/she is out of the norm and becomes socially invisible. People at positions of power are considered to be superior and others should emulate them. However, when they intersect with other social categories they produce new classifications in the social hierarchy. To solve this problem of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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