Answered By: Steven Profit
Last Updated: Apr 12, 2016     Views: 105

Here's the opening paragraph in the entry on Intersectionality from the New Oxford Companion to Law:

Intersectionality is a concept developed within black feminist theory to capture multiple and overlapping axis of subordination, particularly in relation to racegender, and class. As a term, ‘intersectionality’ was first coined by legal theorist, Kimberle Crenshaw, to capture the ways in which race and gender interact to shape Black women's experiences. Intersectionality was distinguished from the idea of additive discrimination. Black women did not simply experience gender discrimination plus racial discrimination as two distinct systems of oppression. Rather, the idea underlying intersectionality was that the particular ways in which race, gender, and other forms of subordination intersect and overlap are mutually constitutive, creating unique experiences and locations of subordination. Crenshaw did not offer the concept of intersectionality as an overarching theory of identity, but instead, as a concept that could help to account for the multiple grounds of identity. In her work on violence against women, she further elaborated on different categories of intersectionality, including structural, political, and representational.