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Race, Gender, Class and Sexuality under Contemporary Capitalism

Ashley J. Bohrer Marxism and Intersectionality Philosophy Ashley J. Bohrer (PhD) is an academic, activist, and public intellectual. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame and previously held a postdoctoral position at Hamilton College. Her research in the fields of phi- losophy, critical race studies, decolonial theory, intersectional feminism, and Marxism explores the intersections of capitalism, colonialism, racism and het- ero/sexism. As an activist, she is affiliated with various feminist, anti-racist and anti

Bibliography Adorno, Theodor W. Lectures on Negative Dialectics: Fragments of a Lecture Course 1965/1966. 1 edition. Cambridge: Polity, 2008. ———. Negative Dialectics. 2 edition. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 1981. ———. Prisms. Translated by Shierry Weber Nicholsen and Samuel Weber. Reprint edition. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1983. Aguilar, Delia. “Tracing the Roots of Intersectionality.” Monthly Review Zine, April 12, 2012. Ahmed, Sara. On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Durham: Duke University Press, 2012. ———. Queer

theorists and activists are obliged to work through: how have previous attempts at solidarity failed so thoroughly as to provoke the notion that solidarity is a fundamentally racialized and gendered concept, perhaps stabilizing institutions of power rather than unsettling them? To this conversation, we should counter-pose similar viral hashtags: #IAmTray vonMartin and #WeAreAllTrayvon. Initially the hashtags, used mostly by black people, demonstrated the ways in which being subjected to armed violence and terror is a constitutive feature of anti-black racism in

36%26submit_y%3D8% 26submit%3DAuswahl%2Banzeigen%26result_limit%3D10%26form_id%3 Dai_core_search_form [abgerufen am 17.6.2012]. Khoury, Jack: Head to Head. Arabeh Mayor Omar Nasser, do you agree with Netanyahu that Arabs live better here than elsewhere? (26.5.2011), in: omar-nasser-do-you-agree-with-netanyahu-that-arabs-live-better-here-than- elsewhere-1.364104 [abgerufen am 19.6.2011]. Lampedusa Chronology. The situation inside detention centres (27.02.2009), in:http://no-racism

discussed below—double, triple, or multiple jeopardy, standpoint theory, superexploitation, sexist racism—are exactly the same as intersectionality as a theory would itself fall prey to precisely this inattentive generalization. Hancock uses “intersectionality-like thought” to describe the history of black feminist theorizing in her book on the history of intersectionality13 and Carastathis uses “precursor concepts” to refer to this history.14 Broadly speaking, the idea of precursor concepts marks ideas, dis- courses, and analyses that came before intersectionality

positions shared by most if not all intersection- ality theorists. I develop a series of six shared propositions that have, in large part, come to define intersectionality and to distinguish it from other accounts of the relationship between race, gender, class, and other axes of oppression. The last section revisits the positions explored in the previous chapter in order to distinguish them from intersectionality. While jeopardy, multiple oppres- sion, sexist racism, and other formulations should be clearly located in the long tradition of intersectionality

straw persons and scarecrows that too often form a barricade between these two perspectives. This book is thus, in one way, a rather long response to both of these moments and an articulation of how and why each of these modes of engagement are ultimately insufficient, not only for capturing the breadth and profundity of their concepts, but also for the project of uprooting the systems of domination that structure our world. If we are really to intervene against racism, cis/sexism, heteropatriarchy, and capi- talism—and it is one of the arguments of this book

class requires racism and hetero/sexism in order to continue to produce some populations as disposable, and therefore more vulnerable to ever-more exploitable conditions. There are two related but nonetheless distinct versions of this argument. Version A posits oppression as a tool that capitalism uses, but argues that exploitation is fundamental to the logic of capitalism, whereas oppression is not; rather, oppression is a tool of convenience under capitalism, which may be historically important, but it ultimately only holds empirical rather than struc- tural

161 assessment, which is that “as black feminists we are made constantly and painfully aware of how little effort white women have made to understand and combat their racism, which requires among other things, that they have a more than superficial comprehension of race, color, and black history and culture.”4 Are we really to believe that walking a picket line for a few days is really suf- ficient to impart ‘more than a superficial comprehension of race, color, black history and culture’ in addition to gender, sexuality, gender identity, citizenship status