This essay will ask you to look at a particular social issue / movement through an intersectional lens. For example, what happens when we add the concept of race to women's rights? Does it complicate the history and definition of feminism? How?
1. Pick a social issue / movement.
2. Explore the problems between race / ethnicity / gender / sexuality dynamics and the social issue / movement you choose.
Answering questions like the ones below will help you to make an intersectional analysis of an otherwise simplified social problem or social movement.
"Intersectionality refers to the interaction between gender, race, and other categories of difference in individual lives, social practices, institutional arrangements, and cultural ideologies and the outcomes of these interactions in terms of power" (Davis, 2008, p. 68).
Kimberlé Crenshaw introduced intersectionality in her 1989 paper “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics.” (18:49)
You can find Crenshaw's paper in the eBook Feminism and Politics.
It's very common to select a topic or formulate a question that starts out too broad.
Example: Black power movement
When the scope of your topic is too big, it's hard to dig through the huge volume of information available to find something relevant. It's also hard to write a paper or give a presentation with any depth.
Most scholarly research examines fairly narrow topics and looks at relationships between concepts. For example, the black power movement is a pretty broad topic, but looking at the relationship between the black power movement and feminism might be a more manageable topic.
There are many ways to narrow a topic that is too broad by asking one or more W questions. Let's use the topic of the black power movement as an example:
Using a few W concepts and doing some background reading can help me narrow to a specific question within the black power movement.
Example: In what set of circumstances did the Black power movement begin to consider the oppression of black women?
Here's are three examples of intersectional investigations.