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Emerging Intersections

Race, Class, and Gender in Theory, Policy, and Practice

Edited by Bonnie Thornton Dill and Ruth Enid Zambrana

Publication Year: 2009

The United States is known as a "melting pot" yet this mix tends to be volatile and contributes to a long history of oppression, racism, and bigotry. Emerging Intersections, an anthology of ten previously unpublished essays, looks at the problems of inequality and oppression from new angles and promotes intersectionality as an interpretive tool that can be utilized to better understand the ways in which race, class, gender, ethnicity, and other dimensions of difference shape our lives today. The book showcases innovative contributions that expand our understanding of how inequality affects people of color, demonstrates the ways public policies reinforce existing systems of inequality, and shows how research and teaching using an intersectional perspective compels scholars to become agents of change within institutions. By offering practical applications for using intersectional knowledge, Emerging Intersections will help bring us one step closer to achieving positive institutional change and social justice.

Published by: Rutgers University Press


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pp. v-vi

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Foreword: Emerging Intersections—Building Knowledge and Transforming Institutions

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pp. vii-xii

As thinkers and practitioners, Bonnie Thornton Dill and Ruth E. Zambrana have been actively engaged in nurturing intersectionality since its inception. For Dill and Zambrana, intersectionality constitutes “an innovative and emerging field of study that provides a critical analytic lens to interrogate racial, ethnic, class, ability, age, sexuality, and gender disparities and to contest existing ...

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pp. xv-xvii

In many ways this book has been in the making since we first met and participated in a small research group exploring the “intersections” of gender, race, and ethnicity in 1978. Since then, contributing to a growing scholarship on intersectionality has been both a compelling intellectual enterprise and a personal passion that is reflected in all of our scholarship. This collection, however, ...

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1: Critical Thinking about Inequality: An Emerging Lens

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pp. 1-21

Inequality and oppression are deeply woven into the tapestry of American life. As a result large disparities exist on measures of income, wealth, education, housing, occupation, and social benefits. These disparities are neither new nor randomly distributed throughout the population, but occur in patterns along such major social divisions as race, gender, class, sexuality, nationality, ...

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2: Entering a Profession: Race, Gender, and Class in the Lives of Black Women Attorneys

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pp. 22-49

In the era of Jim Crow, racial barriers limited the production of Black professionals, the spheres where they could operate, and their abilities to influence their fields. Have these trends changed in the post–civil rights era? This chapter looks at the historical record and interviews with Black women attorneys to examine their progress in the profession. I focus on the experience of Black women within the wider context of recent changes in the legal profession in ...

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3: The Intersection of Poverty Discourses: Race, Class, Culture, and Gender

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pp. 50-72

Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath present a timely window on the contradictory inner dynamics of race, class, gender, and poverty in America. The exposure of extreme poverty, closely associated with an urban Black underclass, stranded by natural disaster and political neglect, was both a reminder of the existence of deprivation that the public is reluctant to acknowledge and a reinforcement of popular prejudices and stereotypes about poverty that the ...

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4: Staggered Inequalities in Access to Higher Education by Gender, Race, and Ethnicity

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pp. 73-100

In institutions of higher learning, the retention and persistence of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups has come to the forefront as the economic and social value of a baccalaureate degree increases (Orfield, Marin, & Horn, 2005; Tinto, 1987,1988.1 After making rapid gains in the late 1960s and early 1980s, the enrollment of historically underrepresented groups, namely African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Puerto Ricans, began to stall in the late ...

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5: Developing Policy to Address the Lived Experiences of Working Mothers

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pp. 101-122

Employment in the U.S. labor market does not always translate into economic self-sufficiency especially for marginalized groups.1 This chapter explores the importance of an intersectional approach to workforce development by addressing three broad research questions: 1. What are the challenges single mothers confront in attaining education ...

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6: Exploring the Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Class on Maternity Leave Decisions: Implications for Public Policy

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pp. 123-149

Policymakers in the United States have struggled for decades to devise policies that encourage the labor force attachment of low-income mothers, particularly those receiving public assistance. These efforts culminated in the 1996 passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which imposed substantial work requirements on mothers ...

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7: Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in the Workforce, Education, and Training under Welfare Reform

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pp. 150-179

Why have people of color become a larger proportion of the welfare case-load since the implementation of TANF in 1996?1 What kinds of opportunities enhance women’s successful transition from welfare to self-sufficiency? This chapter has three purposes: to shed some light on these and other questions by examining the relationship between racial, ethnic, and gender disparities and access to jobs...

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8: Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Early School Leaving (Dropping Out)

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pp. 180-202

In contrast to traditional approaches to framing early school leaving, this chapter utilizes an intersectional approach.1 An intersectional approach will not illuminate race or ethnicity or class or gender or geographical/spatial location as a social location that singularly correlates with high school dropout. Instead, given the discriminatory practices that disproportionately affect ethnic minorities ...

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9: Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Political Participation and Civic Engagement

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pp. 203-228

In the closing decade of the twentieth century, a veritable cottage industry of research bemoaning the decline of civic engagement and political participation in the United States sprang up (Putnam, 2000; Skocpol & Fiorina, 1999). The focus of most studies was on social trust, social capital, and other individual-level factors. The political system was treated as open and even encouraging everyone to ...

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10: Intersections, Identities, and Inequalities in Higher Education

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pp. 229-252

Intersectionality is the intellectual core of diversity work. As Frank Hale points out in the introduction to his book, What Makes Racial Diversity Work in Higher Education: “Institutions of higher education are a part of a global culture that maintains the racial divide and highlights the constant clashes between the ideals America espouses and what Americans practice in fact” (2004, 3). Scholars ...

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11: Transforming the Campus Climate through Institutions, Collaboration, and Mentoring

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pp. 253-273

The university counts among its greatest strengths and a major component of its excellence the diversity of its faculty, students, and staff. It is committed to equal educational opportunity. It strives to hire a diverse faculty and staff of exceptional achievement through affirmative action, to celebrate diversity in all of its programs and activities, and to recruit and retain qualified graduate and ...

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12: Conclusion: Future Directions in Knowledge Building and Sustaining Institutional Change

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pp. 274-290

This collection of chapters illustrates the viability and analytical power of intersectional analysis for studying inequality in the U.S. context, for building knowledge, and for creating institutional change. Drawing on empirical research and studies of policies and practices that impact the lives of low-income women and women of color, it reveals the interplay of power, identity, and ...


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pp. 291-295


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pp. 296-305

E-ISBN-13: 9780813546513
E-ISBN-10: 0813546516
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813544540
Print-ISBN-10: 0813544548

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 318675737
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Emerging Intersections

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Subject Headings

  • Discrimination -- United States.
  • United States -- Social conditions -- 1980-.
  • United States -- Race relations.
  • Social classes -- United States.
  • Sex role -- United States.
  • Homosexuality -- United States.
  • Poverty -- United States.
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