-- Research Focus 2011-2012
"Intersectionality" is the name that is now given to the complex of reciprocal attachments and sometimes polarizing conflicts that confront both individuals and movements as they seek to "navigate" among the raced, gendered, and class-based dimensions of social and political life. Both as individuals seeking to make a socially just and fulfilling "everyday life," and as collectivities seeking to "make history" through political action and social movements, we struggle with the unstable connections between race, gender, and class. The methodological and explanatory framework for linking these three axes of identity and difference, of alliance and antagonism, remains elusive. Any serious comparative historical view suggests that demands for solidarity across race-, class-, or gender-lines are as likely to compete as to coalesce.
The UCCNRS encourages research that explores the concept of intersectionality, notably projects that investigate the instability in practice of intersectional situations. Pragmatist approaches to the politics of identity are especially welcome, including those that research intersectionality as a micro-macro linkage problem, and those that approach the issue in relation to specific social movements or in particular comparative and historical contexts.