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SUNY Erie Library Resource Center

Gender Studies

A libguide of physical and digital resources to help students, teachers, staff and anyone else who is interested find information on gender, sex, sexuality and intersection of gender, sex and sexuality with other cultural forces

What is Intersectionality?

Intersectionality is officially defined as "the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups" (Merriam-Webster). This term first began to be used in a scholarly fashion in 1989 and was used to point out that while gender and sex are large influences on how an individual experiences the world, they not be disconnected from other factors like a person's race, age, nationality, class, physical abilities or mental abilities. For example, a black transgender woman who was born to well off parents and makes an $800,000 salary has a life experience and a worldview that is shaped not just by the fact she is transgender but also by her race, her class and countless other factors.

 

“Intersectionality.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intersectionality.

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