Intersectional Gender. Thinking about Gender and Cultural Difference in the Global Society.

Mariacaterina La Barbera

Research output: Other contribution


This paper offers locatedness, contextuality, and interconnectedness as crucial concepts for the analysis of gender and cultural differences in global societies. Taking into account the different voices of feminism, and being aware of the perils of essentialization, the concept of “intersectional gender” is proposed as analytical tool. The adjective “intersectional” expresses the idea that gender is inherently constituted and simultaneously shaped by race/ethnicity, culture/religion, and economic conditions. Intersectional gender, defined not as an additive but rather as a constitutive process, un- derscores that any form of gender discrimination is originated and interconnected with other factors in inextricable ways. Conceptualizing gender as intersectional means that gender — as a social and contextual category — is meaningless without taking into account all the other factors constituting identity. It also implies that the significance of gender changes as it interfaces with all the other cat- egories. The concept of intersectional gender makes possible the analysis of the inequalities suffered by women within minorities, by taking into account the structures of subordination within subordinate groups along with the inequalities of power among women according to class, race, and culture. An integrated approach is required to understand the intertwined factors of discrimination that — as a network of forces and barriers systematically interconnected — oppress, discriminate, and silence women, particularly those belonging to cultural minorities in the diaspora.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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