By Michael Hames-García
In probably exhaustive arguments approximately id as a class of study, we've made a serious error—one that Michael Hames-García units out to right during this revisionary examine the making and which means of social identities. now we have requested how separate identities—of race, category, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality—come to intersect. in its place, Hames-García proposes, we should always commence via figuring out such social identities as together constituting one another.
Grounded in either theoretical and political practices—in the lived realities of people’s experience—Identity Complex reinvigorates id as a key proposal and as a device for the pursuit of social justice. Hames-García attracts on quite a lot of examples to teach that social identities are significant to how exploitation works, corresponding to debates in regards to the desirability of sexual minority identities in postcolonial contexts, questions about the truth of race, and the character of the U.S. legal crisis.
Unless we comprehend accurately how identities take form when it comes to one another and inside of contexts of oppression, he contends, we are going to by no means have the capacity to remove discrimination and social inequality. by way of interpreting the social interdependence of identities, Hames-García seeks to permit the production of deep connections of cohesion throughout differences.
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Additional info for Identity Complex: Making the Case for Multiplicity
8 No one would suggest that any one term should be extended to cover everything, and yet scholars sometimes now invoke intersectionality as an 12 â•‡ ·â•‡ Who Are Our Own People? umbrella for any and every theoretical contribution by a woman of color. The 2009 meeting of the National Women’s Studies Association illustrated the confusion wrought by overextending the term. Even while Crenshaw and sociologist Bonnie Thornton Dill argued in a special session for clarity and care in the use and application of intersectionality—Â�paying particular attention to the disciplinary specificities of Crenshaw’s original use of the term to describe a phenomenon in antidiscrimination law—Â�the term appeared in nearly every session title, serving primarily as a shorthand way of signaling that a panel addressed not only gender but also other questions of identity and oppression, such as race.
Consider, by contrast, if a national toothpaste manufacturer were to begin producing television commercials that featured two women of color with minty-Â�fresh breath kissing one another. In formulating an explanatory account for understanding the position of the women in this commercial, one would want to ask about the mechanisms of production, ownership, and marketing that brought the commercial into being. With what theory of society do the manufacturer and the advertising agency operate? Has the commercial significantly altered or challenged the traditional conception of the subject if the toothpaste company uses underpaid workers in an unsafe workplace in a polluted county in North Carolina?
26 Indeed, realists believe that interpretation of human experience and of causal features of the world like racism can lead to better knowledge than theories that fail to take adequate account of these features of the world. 28 For example, it has only been through an acknowledgment of error that feminists have been able increasingly to question the role of difference and multiplicity within the category of women. Related to this point, I should note that in responding to domination and exploitation, the objective knowledge on which realism bases its claims often arises out of oppositional political practice.