Rethinking Intersectionality and Whiteness at the borders of citizenship

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This article critically engages with the concept of intersectionality, beginning with an account of its roots in Black feminist' theorizing and critical legal studies. The article argues that it is important to understand the origin and roots of the term in order to track its radical potential. Whilst intersectionality as a concept has been perhaps one of feminism's most successful exports, the article also considers some of the potential pitfalls in the widespread usage of the language. It asks: has intersectionality lost something in its travelling and re-interpretation? The article argues that there is a risk that intersectionality has, in some contexts of its usage, lost its critical, anti-racist and feminist edge. Considering the campaigns against changes in the spousal visa regulations in Britain, the article tracks the production of whiteness and of citizens and non-citizens in Britain. This example is used to argue for the maintenance of a more flexible and complex range of vocabularies with which to examine exclusion and oppression.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalSociological Research Online
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2015


  • Intersectionality, Citizenship, Britishness, Whiteness, Feminism, National Identity


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