Kathy Davis And Jennifer Nash's Theory Of The Intersectionist Movement

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The theory of intersectionality, coined by legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989 in her ground-breaking article Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color, has been regarded as one of the most important contributions to feminist scholarship. This theory allows for examination of intersections of identities, and how these intersections form individual identities. However, this definition is vague and does not explain how one should study intersectionality, which has led many scholars to critique intersectionality. Two such scholars, Kathy Davis, and Jennifer Nash, both critique the murkiness of intersectionality and come to two separate and differing conclusions. Davis argues that the vagueness of intersectionality is what makes it such a successful theory, appealing to all feminist thinkers; Nash argues that there needs to be a clear definition and way to ‘do’ intersectional theory to address complexity and become an inclusive theory. Although Davis and Nash’s conception of intersectional theory are similar in that they both address the issues of ambiguity in defining …show more content…
Utilizing Murray S. Davis’ articles That’s Interesting and That’s Classic, who claims that “successful theories thrive on ambiguity and incompleteness” (Davis 69), Davis uses his four characteristics of a successful theory to frame intersectional thought. These four features of successful social theory being the theory speaks to a primary audience, provides a novel twist to an old problem, it must appeal to a broad academic audience- bridging the gap between theorists and specialists, and last but not least, is y ambiguous and incomplete. (Davis 70-76) This leads Davis’ to argue that intersectionality’s strength lies in its perceived weakness; that ambiguity is crucial for doing

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