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Reception and use of intersectionality. A reading from French perspective

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This text seeks to provide an overview of the concept of intersectionality as it was introduced and disseminated in French social and cultural geography. To understand this reception and use, I will recall the place occupied by each matrix of domination that constitutes intersectionality – gender, race and class. First it is important to remember that the notion of intersectionality has been introduced in a French academic context in which research on gender is still disputed. Second, it is worse in the case of race because it is a blind spot in French republican ideology (one nation, one people). Third, class has always had a central dimension in the analysis because of the weight of the Marxian heritage in the social sciences. The introduction of the notion of intersectionality thus marked a return of the class and materialist perspective in analysis. After this review of the context, I highlight to the work accomplished as intersectinalists outside the category of intersectionality and explain why the notion of intersectionality may be easier and better accepted in this light. I conclude with two examples of work on intersectionality.
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Keywords: Class; France; gender; intersectionality; materialism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: IDUP - Institut de Démographie de l’Université de Paris, Paris 1-Pantheon Sorbonne University, Paris, France

Publication date: April 3, 2018

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