The term "intersectionality" was coined by American scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe the particular experiences of discrimination faced by African American women who are marginalized because of both their skin color and their gender (1). The term emphasizes the interplay of different social identities which produces different experiences of inequality. There are other relevant characteristics besides gender and skin color, such as origin, class, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, migration status.
The concept of intersectionality recognizes the multidimensionality of inequality and the interconnection of different forms of discrimination. It analyzes the role, function, and impact of power structures on discrimination and privilege. An intersectional perspective can be used to draw attention to existing systems of oppression in society and to challenge, break through, and change them. Intersectionality thus holds the potential for promoting social justice, solidarity, and fairness.
- (1) Crenshaw, Kimberlé (1998): Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics, University of Chicago Legal Forum: Vol. 1989: Iss. 1, Article 8.