Racism -- United States. United States -- Race relations. Contents Machine generated contents note: pt. Ferguson 3. McKinley 7. Harris Contents note continued: pt. Razack Notes Formerly CIP. Includes bibliographical references p. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? Australian National University Library.
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- The Perform connected with Omi plus Winant;
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Ironically, in uncritically employing second wave white feminists' theorization of gender, Omi and Winant actually reproduced the marginalization of women of color within both women's studies and ethnic studies. The deeper problem reflected in Omi and Winant's discussion of gender lies in the framing of the question itself. In the above-quoted statement, Omi and Winant focus on how race is like or not like gender.
This positioning of race and gender as potentially analogous represents them as distinct categories to be compared rather than as imbricated categories that are constructed simultaneously and that gain their meaning in and through each other. This is not a problem unique to Omi and Winant's work, but rather one that can be seen within efforts to theorize race within women's and gender studies, as well. As Evelyn Nakano Glenn notes, the fact that much of the scholarship on race and gender developed on independent trajectories has meant not just the exclusion of the experiences of women of color but also a failure to seriously consider the co-constitutive nature of categories such as race, gender, class, and sexuality Glenn In relation to Omi and Winant's theory of racial formation, this oversight suggests a difficulty more fundamental than that of simply examining how a socially constructed category of race intersects with an equally socially constructed category of gender.
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Rather, thinking about race and gender as constituted in and through each other challenges Omi and Winant's assertion that race is an independent and distinct category of analysis that can be thought about in isolation from other kinds of difference. While Omi and Winant's insistence that race is not reducible to anything else is still useful particularly in revealing the limits of ethnicity theory, economic reductionism, and nation-based ideas of race , in the contemporary moment it seems necessary to recontextualize race in relation to other axes of power and difference.
In other words, the irreducibility of race should not be taken to mean that race develops in isolation from other categories of difference. Rather, race must both be seen as an important entity in its own right but also as fundamentally inseparable from the gendered, sexualized, and classed contexts in which ideas of race and racial categories develop.
In recent years, the rubric of intersectionality has emerged as the most prominent sign under which work that attempts to theorize race and gender together happens within ethnic studies and women's and gender studies. The language of intersectionality has its origins in women of color feminism. These texts emphasized the inseparability of race, class, gender, and sexuality, powerfully arguing that social movements that grappled with only one of these forms of inequality effectively negated the existence of women of color.
In her work on discrimination law, for example, Crenshaw made visible the unrecognizability of black women within a legal structure that required them to frame their claims as individuals who were either black or female Crenshaw a; see also Crenshaw b. Despite the profound impact that intersectionality has had upon ethnic studies and women's and gender studies, a number of tensions and difficulties surround the current usage of the term.
Within women's and gender studies, the language of intersectionality is often appropriated to mean putting together already existing theoretical frameworks, or including the experiences of those "left out" of white feminist projects, in a way that evades theoretical consideration of race altogether.
Thus, grappling with intersectionality is often mistakenly reduced to a call to include the experiences of women of color. Sidestepping the challenge to feminism inherent in the theoretical and political project of intersectionality, this framework of inclusion fails to confront racism for a number of reasons. First, to include women of color into women's and gender studies leaves the core concepts of the field intact and suggests that the lives of women of color are just another area of study that can be analyzed in the same way that white women's experiences have been.
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