Representing the intersection in France and America

Alexandre Jaunait, Sebastien Chauvin (2012)

Representing the Intersection in France and America: Theories of Intersectionality Meet Social Science.

Revue Française de Science Politique (English-language edition), 62(1): 1-15.

This article retraces the comparative genealogy of intersectionality theory in the United States and in France since the 1970s, insisting on the heritage of Marxist thought in French Materialistic feminism. We describe how its appropriation in social scientific inquiry allowed reformulating what were normative problems specific to the politico-juridical sphere, into principles of empirical investigation. Forged in the United States in the 1980s, the notion of intersectionality sought to provide an umbrella name for the strategic and identity dilemmas faced by categories of persons suffering from combined forms of domination. Increasingly used in France since the mid-2000s, it has led to the exploration of new objects and the development of new research agendas, notably within political science.