Dike Verlag

Sébastien Chauvin (2021)

Complexity, Intersection and the Politics of Aberration.

in Michelle Cottier, Sandra Hotz, Nils Kapferer (eds.), Law on the Move. Zurich: Dike Verlag, 2021.

This article considers some of the contemporary debates in the social sciences and humanities surrounding intersectionality’s relationship to whiteness and difference.  Could there be ways in which some uses of intersectionality reiterate the white gender order, while other deployments of it would avoid such reiteration? The paper argues this is the case.

To oversimplify, I call the first approach the “liberal” approach to intersectionality, and the other approach the “radical” approach. For its limited scope, this chapter does not locate whiteness in who appropriates intersectionality in which institutional setting, even though this has been a fruitful direction of reflexive critique; instead, it identifies conceptual schemas, metaphors and theoretical habits that cut through settings and audiences but nevertheless converge in deploying the geometric language of the intersection in ways that may reconduct white-centric constructions of otherness.