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Week 2

This week's readings give us different angle of looking at intersectional analyses, and I found that Tesse Liu's article, "Teaching the Differences among Women" is better than the others. Her analyses are more comprehensive in explaining and elaborating the intersectional thinking between race, gender, and class. Her discussion about her struggle of race and gender and her teaching experience is worth to think about. She is not white and she is a woman. These factors have been her limitation of accepting the world. As she said, this happen to most students as most of them think that their own race is a "norm" to others. This is really true because this thinking somehow become the fence of exploring the other side of the world. Also, I learned that people of different race gender are treated differently. her intersectional thinking drives me to think about how racially differed women will be treated.


I am econ major and I notice one interesting fact. There is more female in BA econ major than BS econ major. I think this is part of the gender problem. In the society, we always think that males are better in Math and females are always better in literature. It is like the different of male and female have already stereotyped.

In my major, intersectional thinking definitely applies. Economics study needs a whole picture of the worldWe need to consider people in different region and their behavior in relation to their economic classes. Just as Collins said you can't look at things in isolation.

blog 2 assignment

I am still learning about intersectional analysis, and obviously still confused about the exact meaning. But what I got from discussion in class and the readings is that women experience discrimination and oppression differently.  It can be based on their race, class, and age, etc. I believe Tessie Liu discusses intersectional analysis the best, or least it was the easiest for me to understand.  "We are all products of societies that have taught us to hate others or, worse, to be indifferent to their suffering and blind to our own privileges and to those who labor to provide them." The environment and your life experience really ties into the way you view others. 

My major is Psychology and I was thinking the other day I've never came upon intersectional analysis, but then it dawned on me that in the past women were discriminated just based on their gender in psychology.  Women were rarely treated for mental illnesses, and if they were it was because they all had "hysteria" according to men.  Psychologists in that day assumed that men are superior, as did the rest of the general public.  Today in modern psychology I haven't really encountered intersectional analysis, because I've noticed that studies are represented to all races.  Now, people are curious about the differences and similarities among races and their environments.   

Blog Assignment #2 - Tessie Liu

Beyond simply the readability of Tessie Liu's, "Teaching the Differences Among Women from a Historical Perspective", this paper also effectively communicates an intersectional analysis on how to incorporate race and gender within the confines of school curriculums. She points out that in most Western Civilization classes, her primary concern, the occasional lecture on a different culture, or focus on women "merely sprinkles color on a white background." Her goal is to restructure curriculums in order to abolish this "either/or" cross-cultural analysis. In order to do so, the courses must be organized such that race and gender are wholly integrated into the material and not side notes.  

This analysis is more successful in that it starts at the beginning - Western Civilization courses, and has the potential to build on to the bigger picture, nationally and internationally. It identifies the problem, makes suggestions for its reconstruction and eventual solution, and identifies the people involved in such a movement. Liu also incorporates both gender and race, understanding that they intersect, they are not always two separate entities and that the additive analysis taught in current courses is a destructive approach.

As a psychology major I am realizing that topics are not approached with intersectional thinking as much as you would think. However, it seems that this area of study would demand such a thought process. The only reason I can think of for its absence is that psychology is to a large extent science and research based. Such systems operate using ranking systems and are hugely institution-oriented, and very likely function using additive analyses and reasoning.

Week 2

The article I found most successful in explaining intersectionality was the Liu article.  She describes intersectionality in a historical perspective.  She discusses that class and race have been linked together for a long time; her example is European colonists who created a hierarchy based on skin color.  Women were also important in the hierarchy, because a woman's child would have the same status as her, no matter what the status of the child's father.  Not only does the article show this and other examples of intersectionality, it also is a call to action with actual ideas on how to act.  She recommends we change what is taught in Western history courses so it is more inclusive of women and people of color, referring to the institution we talked about on Thursday.  She also recommends that we communicate with one another about our differences, even though she states that "we can only strive for empathy and mutual understanding" (38).

I currently do not have a major, but have taken several political science courses.  The reason I believe I enjoyed Liu's article was because her take on Western history courses are similar to how my political science courses have been like.  There is always one day where we discuss race, class, and gender all together; however they are not spoken about intersectionally throughout the course.  I don't think that they are taught that way because Western history is built on patriarchal societies.



I would say that Liu's article was most successful. I appreciated how she pondered whether students and instructors were looking for some kind of underlying sameness behind all the variations of women's experiences. She believes that the problem is that we cannot simply look for our similarities. We must deeply consider the differences and then find the connections to one another.


Liu also pointed out that we should really be looking at the basic structure of Western Civilization. She made it clear that many (white, middle class) students think of themselves as the norm, and every other race and class as the deviant. That particular part is so important because it is so true. I remember back in grade school when we would talk about diversity and how we need to "tolerate" people of all backgrounds, and my (white) teachers would talk about cultural diversity in a way that made it seem like Caucasians were superior to all other groups. We were the dominant group, but it was not in good taste for my teachers to refer to other races in relation to whites. Liu mentions that we need to examine ourselves, as painful and difficult as it is.  We cannot lump very different groups of people into one group just because it is easier. That is being naïve and ignorant. As Liu states, "we can only view the world from where we stand" (31).


Surprisingly, in my Family Social Science major, I have encountered very little intersectional thinking. My major is all about relationships and Family Systems Theory, yet I can only think of one or two courses that offer deep intersectional thinking. Perhaps I am just overlooking it, but I am stunned for now.

Blog Entry 2

While this week's readings together gave me an understanding of intersectional analysis as the recognition that women experience discrimination for many different reasons, I found the Sacks reading to offer the most comprehensive explanation in that it conceptualized the interactions of three distinct and central social dimensions: race, gender, and class.


While I agree with Pascoe's argument that the modernist racial ideology is a racial ideology of its own, and that it is appropriate/necessary to acknowledge and study the existence of a socially constructed racial concept, her analysis does not extend into any broader explanation into the relationship between race and gender or class in the way that the Liu and Sacks do .However, Sacks is the only of the three to go into an explanation of why scholars have the tendency to think in dichotomist terms, which was helpful in understanding the phenomenon and how we can transition into educational strategies that include intersectional thinking.


In one of my major fields of study, Political Science, there is very little intersectional thinking. As Liu suggests from her experience in the social sciences field, any integration into the curriculum is thematic. This could not be more true for my studies in Political Science and American Government, in which my classes have yet to learn about minorities in office, and from which I've received just one reading about women in politics, all who were white and upper-class. (It's still worth worth reading, it's called "Handmaid's Tales of Washington Power").

Week 2 blog

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All of these articles give us a different perspective on intersectionalism. This term means that there are ways in which corporations have specific acts and policies that create subordination that cannot be avoided. It is hard because it deals with dichotomous thinking that means that a woman can be white and female, not just white, and being a female is how the company can subordinate them. Institutions use race, class and gender in ways that hinder how far they can go in the specific institution. Pascoe writes about how miscegenation laws demean race and gender. In all the cases presented, it was the man who wanted out of the marriage, and used race as the reason for the annulment. In the first case presented, the woman does not even get to speak on her own behalf during the hearing. This is an example for how the male judge did not even think it was necessary for her to define her race herself. Although this is a very solid argument, I think they Liu gave the most dynamic writing of intersectionalism. She speaks about how she has been through the struggle of accepting ones own limitations because or race and gender. She is from Taiwan and struggles with the dichotomous image that she is subordinated because of her race, as well as being a woman. She also argues that race is inherited and you have to be born with it, it doesn't change, and the individual must fight against the system to move up to "higher class". She gives an example of how in her classes, the people with privilege understand and sympathize with the oppression stories, but still they see it as "other peoples problems."    
In my kinesiology major, it is surprising to me how many women are in the field. There are many women teachers in my classes, as well as many female practitioners. Although this is a step forward for women, there is still the problem of race and class. I have not noticed many women or men of different races in the kinesiology field. Now that I know about intersectionalism, I believe that it is the cause of this gap in the amount of diversity in the kinesiology field.

Week 2 blog

Blog 2

After reading the three articles on the intersectional relationship between race, gender, and class, I found Karen Brodkin Sacks article "Toward a unified theory of class, race, and gender" the most successful in unifying these three concepts in stead of looking at them as separate systems. Sacks focus is on debates over domestic labor and its relationship to class oppression. She uses strong examples that both capitalism and patriarchy share responsibility in women's oppression. Sacks also related race to gender and class by showing how both colored and white women were doing domestic labor both waged and unwaged labor yet still being oppressed by the white male. The working- class men benefit from the women's domestic subordination.  It is also clear that capitalism has recruited workers on the basis of race, and gender and family relations within an ethnic community.  We need to realize that women's gender identities are not analytically separable from their racial and class identities and class emerges as a relation to the means of production that is collective rather than individual. 

Liu, intersectional analysis

     I found that Liu did a wonderful job of representing intersectional analysis.  First off, I enjoyed the statement she gave about integrating a simple lecture on African Americans or Native Americans into a Western Civ class as opposed to integrating them into every lecture as part of the society as a whole and not a separate entity. Liu stated that "this attempt to introduce diversity merely sprinkles color on a white background." This quote is reminiscent of our last class because it is an attempt to modify the system and not  a complete over-hall. Therefore, it is not really fixing the problem but covering it up.  She then talks about how the students she teaches are the universal "norm" meaning they are white, middle-class students and how people who did not fit into this group are deviations. Liu says that we must understand race as  a "gendered social category" and by doing so we may understand how women's experiences can radically differ. Because if we simply look at women as a whole, society will look at a white woman's oppression and failing to see how a woman of another race can be doubly- oppressed. For example, if a woman is African-American she not only will be oppressed because of her gender but also because of her skin-tone.
    I don't think intersectonal analysis has been utilized in any of my classes except for possibly history. In history, we tend to look at the major factors of certain peoples/groups lives and fail to look properly at other people/groups in that area. For example, when studying the colonization of America we look at the white people's struggle with "savages" and the wilderness. Yet, we fail to look at properly how it is for Native Americans to have their homeland overrun and Europenized. 

Blog 2- Intersectional Analysis

Of the readings for Tuesday's class, I think that Liu has a more successful analysis. Her piece is more focused and to the point concerning race, class, and gender in view of Western civilization courses. Liu's argument for the need to recreate the curriculum of Western civilization courses is easy to follow and I agree that without it, the privileged white male, and sometimes female, is the center of the story. When Liu brings up the subject of race and its definition, it brought a new perspective to the term for me. It is also important that Liu makes connections between the racial and biological metaphors, not creating and additive or "double" oppression discussed in our readings from last week. In one of the other articles by Sacks, her argument became repetitive and difficult to follow for me. I understood some of her main points about the working-class and shop-floor issues and battles, but as her paper went, I had a difficult time finding her main argument. I found too much detail in her specific descriptions of the varying primary reasons for the oppression of women.

            I am double majoring in History and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Political Science. In almost every course that I have taken, the idea of intersectionality has cropped up. For example, in one of my history courses last semester we discussed the position of white and black women and men alike during the Teamsters' Strike in Minnesota. In a political science class I took, we discussed how race, class and gender are viewed in Brazil and its comparison with the United States. We also discussed the notion of passing after reading Larsen's novel Passing. I enjoy being able to bring in the knowledge I have learned in my GWSS classes into my other courses.

Blog Assignment 2

Blog Assignment 2

Based on my understanding of intersectional analysis, I find that authors who write in this way are more successful just because it provides a more coherent argument. For example, Patricia Collins talks about the dichotomies and how it is irrelevant because Collins says that you can never really divide things from one another. By looking at the intersections, it provides a stronger base. She uses herself as an example. Being a black women, she can't separate from being a women or being black. It is a matter of looking at both, and dealing with how it affects her. Categories build upon each other, so with intersectional analysis, it provides a 360 degree view. If my understading of Intersectional analysis is correct, then I have encountered this in many of my cultural studies courses. Looking at "The Culture Industry" by Adorno, he focuses on how culture is built, but he brings into play other aspects that shape culture as well. From its history of industrialization, to focusing on the individual that works in these industries, to class, and to race. I believe that with intersectional analysis, it does provide for a better argument and case. 

Blog #2

I think Liu was very successful in her connecting of race, gender, and class.  She connected each pair separately with a point of origin and a followable development over time.  

Race and Gender- Before Europeans encountered other races, superiority was determined by lineage.  So lineage became an important part of continuing those hierarchies by regulation of which races could reproduce and what it meant when they did. 
Gender and Class- Women working as prostitutes were a threatening group and were alienated and separated from their racial and gendered counterparts.  Controlling this group's ability to reproduce was very important.  

While I think theatre is one of the best ways to bring feminist theory into practice it is also one of the most complicated because of the many identities brought forward in the actors, the characters, and the ways actors portray characters.  Theatre is beginning to explore these ideas in many new works, but often completely ignores the dichotamies of identity, and the complexities of representation.  ("Black plays" are only allowed to deal with the race of the characters, not the intersection with class or gender)  Theatre for social change is constantly trying to combat and bring oppression into the public eye, but I think it has a hard time intentionally dealing with the intersecting identities we have been talking about so far in class.  In my theatre courses I am constantly trying to question more than one issue at a time, though that doesn't normally lend itself well to the critical and focused study of a play or movement.  

Week 2 Blog

I find Liu's description of intersectional analysis to be the most informative and elaborate of the three articles.  She describes the dichotomous thinking we discussed in class, the constant battle she has lived, being an immigrant born in Taiwan yet her learning has been completely encompassed by Western civilization.  She has lived as an insider and an outsider her entire life.  Because of the classes she has taught and the knowledge she has gained, she describes that in order to move forward we must understand difference in "social structural terms," meaning we must understand the experiences of women through power relationships.  To fully study women's connections we must all understand why some of us are privileged and why some of us are not.  Liu describes race as tying to gender discussions as it began from European descent. She demonstrates that race is defined as something inherited, either you were born the "right" race or you were not. From there we can see that women may have been the right race, but were neither treated with ultimate respect, nor ultimate disrespect, they simply lied somewhere in the middle as long as the white men had control and could use women as they so chose.  She provided the history of racism and sexism as a way to interpret for us that we must see all categories as not merely one versus the other but that they are all underlying and can be consequential of one another.

I am a psych major and I have noticed that the white-upper class male dominates the vast majority of professors, scholars, the basis of where and when psychology began, the books we read and study, the list goes on and on. Women's viewpoints in the world of psychology were not recorded or studied until recent history, and are still being studied today for lack of information.

Blog 2 Assignment

               Like most other students, I found the analysis by Liu to be the most successful for me.  I feel Liu lays down an easy to understand argument for integrating race, class, and gender.  Liu stresses the intersectional nature of race, class, and gender and also stresses the importance of history.

               I am a GWSS major, and have encountered intersectional thinking in most of my GWSS classes.  I took a class about Hip Hop Feminism, and for me, the intersectionality of race, class and gender were made very clear.

               However, I did take a class titled "The History of Western Feminism," which I felt totally trivialized and neglected feminism that were not white.  That class was problematic for many reasons, but what stood out to me was the total lack of acknowledgement or appreciation for women of color outside of the academic realm.  I liked Liu's point, when she calls for understandings of race, class, and gender to be grounded in history.


intersectional analysis

I think that Karen Sack's analysis is the most successful in trying to find a way towards a unified theory of class, race, and gender. In her analysis she carefully explains many theories and where they fall short in terms of intersectionality. I like how she wants to maintain the Marxist view of class, but to modify it to be a "gendered and racially specific concept" because "racial, class, and gender oppression are part of a single, specifiable, and historically created system" like capitalism and patriarchy.  By defining different theories of class, race, and gender and pointing out their weaknesses, we can go forth and find the commonalities between them to make a stronger unifying theory. She starts to do that by redefining the working class "in which membership is not determinable on an individual basis, but rather as membership in a community that is dependent upon waged labor, but that is unable to subsist or reproduce by such labor alone." By taking on this definition of the working class, one starts to broaden the struggle finally taking into account such things as unwaged domestic labor and involvement in the community which in turns will bring in broader layers of the oppressed because it does not alienate as much as a stricter definition.


I am currently a cultural anthropology major and while we have yet to talk about intersectionality in the few courses I have taken, I am currently in a class called Cultural Diversity and the World System, a course based in and around Capitalism and the rise of Globalization. I look forward to seeing if intersectional analysis is applied and applying it myself to the coursework.  

Blog Post #2

I have several differing on the three articles. I found Pascoe's analysis the most interesting out of the three. Her use of miscegenation court cases clearly showed examples of intersectional oppression, particularly how Intersectionality is woven into the political system. Additionally, her analysis was the most engaging to read and I found her description of racial definition the most comprehensive. However, her piece did not address class or gender, nor did it provide insight outside of America. Pascoe's analysis is very focused on America and the 20th Century and therefore does not cover Intersectionality to the fullest extent.

            Sacks' analysis is perhaps the most comprehensive of the three. She covers class, gender, race, as well as contextualizes them. It provides a good basis for intersectionality and the interrelationship between oppression. Her focus on labor as a unifying element and point of oppression is a good, but I'm hesitant to apply it to everyone, as Sacks seems to do. Her article was also only briefly touches upon sexuality, and for an article that seems to cover a lot, this seems like an obvious and strange omission. Sacks also assumes a knowledge of Marxist theory, which not everyone has.

            The Liu piece provided an excellent description of intersectional oppression, however I found her labeling essentially flawed. To me, Intersectionality is a systematic form of oppression that does not value one over the other and instead sees all isms as oppression. Liu's gendering of racism and classism to make racism and classism more relatable seems bizarre to me and unnecessary to me. If you want to show that all the isms are essentially the same, why the need to contextualize them by gender? However, I did  like that Liu stated that the first step to undoing oppression is to look inside oneself and identify how you support or promote oppression. That, I think, is one of the most important things a person can do the begin undoing oppression and I am glad that Liu addressed that.

blog # 2

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In this week's readings I found Sacks article on a unified theory of class, race, and gender to provide the most successful analysis of the three articles. Sacks provides valuable insight into how gender,  race and class oppression are related in the discussion of unwaged work amongst white women ( such as childbearing and rearing)  and waged work amongst blacks, Latinas, and Asians.  She argues that women's subordination in society is rooted in the unwaged white women and the waged blacks, Latinas and Asians.  Sacks also mentions "patriarchy," a term we discussed last week when explaining that women's subordination lay in the interaction of the "duel systems theory".  The fact that women had to support a family and refused to work for low wages made women less reliable, and more exploitable, causing them to become dependent on men and subordinate in the family according to Sacks.  At the beginning of her article she asks "Does race and gender 'reduce' to class?" After reading Sacks analysis,   I would say she provides detailed evidence supporting the argument that race, gender and class are all intersectional.

blog assignment #2

After reading this week and last week's articles, I found that the Collins' article to be the most successful in intersectional analysis.  Collins rejects the idea of dichotomous thinking.  Explaining that this thinking creates only opposites and or ranking.  She goes on to say that in order to move past this historical way of thinking we need to look at how race, class, and gender functions as a parallel and interlocking system.  Like she says all these ideas of oppression are based together and we cannot begin to deconstruct this notion until we look at these issues together and their underpinnings which lie in institutions, symbols, and individual ideologies.  If people can come together for a cause on common ground rather than their differences the power is so much greater and change is more easily brought about than focusing on the differences that lie within us.  Collins has a great point that our differences in gender, class, and race offer us only a biased biographical view of the issue.  We must view change through coalitions devoted to a common cause and building empathy for others and to the larger and ultimate purpose.  I think that Collins' view aligns well with the article by Liu who says that we must restructure western civilization to incorporate race, class, and gender in order to teach cultural diversity.  She explains that in teaching culture diversity we typically lay it out as the "us" and "them"  this exactly relates to the dichotomous thinking that Collins refers to.  By saying that their is a difference and creating this two-party relationship you're creating and underlying relationship based on ranking and opposities.  If we're to come together on common ground how can we still refer to one another as oposing or unequal?  Both these articles suggest that now change can be received until they can come together and turn away from what society has taught us and unify on a single social problem.  

Blog #2 GWSS 3002-01

Of the three articles, I would say that I agree with Tessie Liu's analysis the most.  On page 30, Liu speaks of her students, who are primarily white and middle class showing an ability to have sympathy while maintaining their distance and acceptance of how they may be affected by racism, sexism, poverty etc. 

Reading of the several definitions of race was interesting.  There were some that I would not have thought of and I honestly have not looked up the definition on my own.  As the dictionary has several ways of defining race so do we as individual people, which was shown in the Pacsoe article right from the beginning.  While we as individuals have our own reasons and/or beliefs in why we identify ourselves as we do, others have thier own reasons or methods which they use. 

I had a long struggle choosing my major until I took a Intro to GLBT Studies class at Century College while I was completing my liberal arts requirements before transferring here to the University of MN.  Although this class covered more material relating to the GLBT movement, it was not difficult to see how GWSS fit in right along with the class, which contained quite a bit of intersectional analyzing.  This class is what helped me to decide on GWSS being my major.  I have also taken InterCultural  Communications, which I feel also requires one to learn how to accept that we are different in some ways but also the same in others.  Our differences are not to be seen as a negative as our similarities may not always be a positive aspect of things either. 


Michele Hauwiller

Blog #2 GWSS 3002-01

Blog Assignment #2

I found Liu's article very successful in expanding upon intersectional thinking. Liu focuses primarily on women in history and it was interesting to me how she examined the difference in referring to white women as "women" and anyone else as "women of color".  Clearly society has placed certain distinctions between women of difference races while appearing to appear politically correct. Liu focuses on how history tends to place the role of women as either insignificant, as a threat to society (prostitutes, etc.), or as all the same.  According to Liu, by assuming that all women's struggles to be considered equals in society as the same, the plight of feminism is hindered.  She feels that the diversity of every woman's experience is critical in better understanding feminism. Liu takes a look back in history to show that race was linked to class, and from these class distinctions gender acquired certain traits that were considered socially acceptable and desirable.


As a Journalism major, intersectional thinking is something I personally feel the industry tries to stay away from. Instead, to me it seems like writers and the media are constantly trying to find a certain focus group or an audience to appeal to instead of making messages appealing to people of every race or gender.  Target audiences are a constant topic in many of the Journalism classes I have taken.  We are constantly being taught how to make our writing or reporting appealing to women only or to a certain race of people. Clearly the field's stance on equality is that it would be too hard to communicate with everyone, so instead we are taught that we should continue to keep up the barriers of race and gender by stereotyping our audience. 

Week 2 blog- Tesse Liu

            I believe Tesse Liu's "Teaching the Differences Among Women" essay to be the most successful in explaining intersectional analysis. She makes it clear that "we can view the world only from where we stand" (p. 31), meaning that in order to understand women's oppression around the globe, we must take on an empathetic role. I agree with Liu in the fact that we must ask ourselves "who is doing the comparing?" (p. 31). It matters which viewpoint is being used in area of intersectional analyses, mostly because oppression takes on different meanings depending on who you are, where you are, who you talk to, etc. We must understand that although oppression takes a different meaning everywhere, the only way to progress with "getting out of institutionalized thinking" is to make connections on why women are oppressed in these ways in the first place, and work together to make a change. Liu directly states: "difference is not opposed to sameness. Rather, recognizing the differences among women should lead us to ask how our different lives and experiences are connected" (p. 32). I feel that using Liu's example of realizing how we are connected rather than oppressed in different ways is a good start to getting out of oppressed, institutionalized thinking.

            Last semester I took a globalization class that really opened my eyes towards thoughts of race/racism, gender/sex, etc. It's amazing how much I didn't know about the world and the history of women's past. I also realized that by knowing this history, I can piece together why I am the way I am today.

Blog #2: intersectional analysis

Each of the three articles provides a useful way to examine gender, race, and class and their relationships to each other. However, they also each highlight the difficulty in finding a "unified theory" and the ways in which intersectionality may convolute and further fragment theories of gender, class, and race relations. In many ways, the piece by Pascoe creates the kind of dichotomy that Collins warns against by emphasizing the shift from the biological to the cultural. Pascoe examines shifts in racial thinking through historical judicial cases and, in creating a biological-cultural dichotomy, the economic and political shifts occurring in the United States during that time are almost entirely absent from her analysis (most notably, the lack of a mention of the civil rights movement). Sacks demonstrates how the political and economic conditions created under capitalism, which are largely absent from Pascoe's argument, can and do create and perpetuate gender, race, and class identity. Through her explanation of how second-wave socialist feminists root their theories in a gendered division of waged and unwaged labor, she more effectively speaks to the notion of culturally based theories of social stratification than Pascoe. Although I find Sacks' article extremely appealing academically, Liu's article, for me, is a more holistic approach to gender, race and class analysis than either Sacks or Pascoe. Liu asks us not to just understand conditions and discourses that created subjugation, or even, as Collins suggests, to empathize with others, but to understand how our personal experiences inform our own beliefs about ourselves and (those elusive) "others."Like Sacks', Liu's article is extremely strong academically, but the personal narrative approach invites all of us to contribute to the discussion of gender, race, and class relations. In her discussion of personal conflict with some of these issues, Liu makes a short but profound statement which informs the notion of rectifying the personal and the academic ("public") for a holistic vision of gender, race, and class studies: "I have lived with the contradictions of being simultaneously and insider and an outsider all of my life." The different emphasis each of these authors takes are all valid ways of examining gender, race, and class identities, which is why I feel the pursuit of a unified theory is not only a nearly impossible task, but an individual exercise.

By the nature of geography, my area of study, intersectionality is a necessity, since almost any subject matter can (and is) studied spatially. Everything from economics to biology is studied geographically. However, as with many fields which use humans as their "subject matter" (so, basically any social science), the personal is often left behind, which is why I think we see such compartmentalized studies without the kind of unity the authors we've read thus far are trying to establish. It is something that has frustrated me over the years and something that may reflect exactly some of the issues we will cover in this course (the dichotomy of the "rational" and the "emotional" and their masculine/feminine associations, as well as the fact that academia has largely been developed through patriarchal institutions, etc.).  

Blog Assignment 2

After taking an in depth look at the readings assigned for this week, I found Grant and Sleeter's writings to be most successful. As a Human Resource Development Major, the topics of Women's Studies, feminism, etc. are all fairly new to me consisting of a great deal of vocabulary that I am a bit of a stranger to. This article felt like a breath of fresh air for me as I worked through these articles trying to switch gears to this type of literature. The argument stated in the article "Race, Class, and Gender in Education Research: An Argument for Integrative Analysis" was very clear. They explained that "all people are members of not just one status group, but of all three, and these simultaneous memberships influence perception and actions (196)." I absolutely agree that these items are inextricably related. The article explained that most of the literature in the sample treated race, social class, and gender separately which in turn oversimplifies equity issues and further may perpetuate biases by failing to integrate them.

Blog 2

I find that Sacks has a successful analysis in her ability to effectively and interestingly combine the elements of race, class, and gender in her three arguments.  These arguments regard women's domestic and community experiences linked with class struggle as well as her views on the ways that women have experienced the "idea" of class differently than their male counterparts. Then of course, she examines how working class women's experiences and issues vary (and likewise, how they are similar) between class. 

I have never read anything like this article before.  Thus, it stuck out among the other race/gender/class themed readings we had for this week. I was also intrigued by the ways that she took different aspects of jobs over the course history (top of p. 542).


As far as my own education experiences as a History minor go, I have read many documents regarding race, gender, and class.  This was particularly true in my classes: Women in Early America and U.S. History 1900-1945.  For example, in one of the readings we discussed last Thursday, Collins addressed the four African American female stereotypes (the mammy, the matriarch, the mule, and the whore).  This was something that was extremely prevalent and within these courses we discussed and addressed how important it is to think beyond outside of just the stereotypes, because just as we uncovered on Thursday's discussion, one cannot be labeled by merely their race, class, or gender. One's experiences vary on the combination of their race, class, and gender, and cannot be counted upon to be the same. Collins' comparison of the college peer with the sweaters and the Appalachian family is a prime example of this. 

Week 2 Blog Assignment

After completing the readings for this week, I found Tessie Liu's article, "Teaching Differences among Women from a   Historical Perspective: Rethinking Race and Gender as Social Categories" to be the most successful analysis out of the three articles that we read.  Her article focused on the way that women are studied, especially in Western civilization courses, and how we can gain a better understanding of all women, especially in regards to race and class, if we acknowledge the differences between them rather than looking for a "universal sameness" amongst all women.  As Liu directly wrote, "...there is no true international or cross-cultural perspective.  We can view the world only from where we stand."  This concept was also shown in Collin's article from last week when she wrote about viewing the world as an African American woman, not just as a woman or just as an African American.  The reason that I think this idea is so successful in regards to analyzing intersectional inequalities is because it forces us to consider our own biases and realize that we cannot think solely based off our gender, class, race, age, etc, because that is only one part what makes us who we are and we cannot separate one category from the next since they are all relevant.  She also wrote about the direct benefits of viewing inequalities as intersecting such as by viewing race as a gendered social category, so we can in turn "systematically address the structural underpinnings of why women's experiences differ so radically and how these differences are relationally constituted."  Liu's writing style is very similar to Bell Hook's writing because it is a very straight forward, easily accessible and understandable reading unlike that of both Pascoe and Sacks, which are both fairly dense readings in my opinion.  I have encountered intersectional thinking in both Sociology (my major) and Gender and Women's Sexuality Studies (my minor) mainly because both disciplines are people based and cover a variety of social issues in which categories such as race, class, and gender, overlap.

Week 2 Blog Assignment

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Recent class discussions and readings have resulted in a new awareness for me. "Feminism" was a word I have heard many times without really understanding the meaning. "Feminism" held a negative connotation - that is until I read Hooks' analysis on Feminism. While the readings by Collins, McIntosh and Glenn all provided insight into their views on Feminism, I found Hooks' article a more descriptive view on Feminism. It outlined the misconceptions of Feminism and described the differing views held by others. Likewise, the word "racism" can result in varying interpretations and views. Again, for me, the word "racism" holds a negative connotation. Pascoe's easy-to-understand analysis and interpretation of the miscegenation law provided a deeper understanding of the meaning of racism. It brought the trials and difficulties of racism in the justice system alive in the reading. The Engineering profession is a "mans profession" or so it's believed. Our society portrays males as the stronger leaders, "deeper thinkers," and engineers. Women are viewed as passive, "the listeners," and the caregivers. Males are the majority of new admissions into Engineering programs at Universities, even though females are being recruited and attracted into the programs. The Biomedical Engineering (BME) profession is one such profession experiencing a shift to female professionals while the Mechanical, Electrical and Aerospace Engineering disciplines continue to be perceived a "male" profession.  

Week 2 Blog Assignment.

After reading the three articles for Tuesday, I found the Karen Sacks article "toward a unified theory of class, race, and gender to be the most successful. In the beginning of the article Sacks asks the question, "Do race and gender "reduce" to class?"  I thought this was an intriguing question because intersectional analysis involves all three.  She answers this question using Marxism and Marxist-feminists theories, however she modifies these ideas.  I think why Sacks article is more successful is because she looks at the social content of feminism and uses the example of shop floor workers and how this system was gender and race biased.  She examines how race, class, and gender oppression are related, and the parallels and racial diversity of the working class women struggles.  I am a Journalism major and I have not encountered intersectional thinking in this area.  I think this approach is not utilized because it goes outside hegemony.   Before last weeks reading I had never heard of the term intersectional analysis and to be honest it is hard for me to grasp.  It is difficult for me to apply it to real life.   I think many people may have this problem because as a society we have become so used to this dominant system of thinking.  In my hometown, Voyeurism is very common, many people are intrigued by how the "different" live, yet they are passive about it and cannot relate to what they see as the less powerful in their minds at all.  

Week 2 Blog Assignment

I think that Hooks and Collins have the most success at putting forth the best intersectional analysis. Collins mentions that she is not a fan of dichotomies (the either/or concept) and that as a whole we should move past this in order to start "new patterns of thought and action". She also points out that by looking at the effects of race, class, and gender on all of us, not just by one 'group' to the next, that we will be able to make more concrete and effective ways of change. Through this connectional thought of ideas from institutions and oppression, she displays a well in-depth intersectional analysis. Hooks is also able to give a good overall view and analysis. She defines and applies the broad term feminism to various disciplines that affect and shape the everyday lives of people. Her main focus is on oppression, sexism, and patriarchy and how they intertwine and play off of each other in institutional settings. Like Collins, she calls for people to come together as a means to end these forms of oppression, rather than just through individual acts. Within my own major, I have defiantly encountered intersectional analysis and thinking, in fact, it is almost required. I am majoring in psychology and the basis of its existence relies on the systematic melding of theories from past and present psychologists. My main area of interest is within the field of personality psychology, which takes into account all of the internal vs. external factors and how they interact to make or break the person.

Clarification to Week 2 Blog Assignment

I've received feedback from a couple of students, so I want to clarify this week's blog assignment:
    Please discuss which of this week's intersectional analyses you found to be most successful. Use last week's readings and discussion as background for your consideration, but focus your blog post on this week's readings.

Week 2 Blog Assignment

Although I found each article interesting and applicable, I found Collins and Hooks analyses the most successful.  I had not heard of intersectional analysis before and after reading how to interpret it and utilize it I think it makes a lot of sense.  I agree with Collins and the idea that looking at systems and institutions as well as how we fit into those ideas affect us greatly.  I am also not a fan of dichotomies because you cannot classify a person because of their gender, race, or class.  Each of those things equally affects every individual as a whole.  I also agree with Collin's focus on 3 dimensions of oppression: institutional, symbolic, and individual.  It is important to focus on what is already built in to our brains and how the majority of people have one dominant system of thought.  I also strongly agree with Hooks and her ideas of oppression and patriarchy.  I believe sexism is institutionalized and until we recognize that fact it will be hard to end it.  I am a Communication major and definitely can apply intersectional thinking into the areas I study.  I enjoy studying human nature, cultural interactions, and most of all why our cultural differences create misinterpretations of one another.  Intersectional thinking can easily be applied to these ideas and help explain why our differences in gender, class, race, sexual orientation, etc. sometimes create misunderstandings and/or conflict.

Week 2 blog assignment

After reading the articles for Thursday, I believe that Collins' analysis was the most successful. I agree that dichotomies call for a hierarchy in classifications, and it is almost impossible to achieve anything when people are classified, mostly subconsciously, into different groups. I agree with the fact that dichotomies allow for one group to be labeled oppressed, and the other "non oppressed". With Collins being both black and a woman, a dichotomy would make her fit into two different categories (black and female), and therefore making her feel doubly oppressed. I agree that we need to look at race, class, and gender as a whole and how they concurrently fit together. My major is Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance. After taking a few classes, I believe that I have encountered intersectional thinking pertaining to the field that I want to get into. Most of the courses I took analyzed things such as crime and incarceration rates in the United States. Of course it was broken into categories of "race, gender, and income." There were also statistics that showed race, gender, and income combined. I believe that this is a new approach in the field of law. The incarceration rates in the United States surpass that of any other country, and I think that scholars are starting to look into the reasons why so many people are incapacitated and how race, gender, and income as a whole influence who is sanctioned and who is not.

Week 2 Blog Assignment

This week's readings show us what intersectional analysis looks like in different disciplines: history, education, anthropology, law, and biology. In light of Thursday's discussion and keeping in mind the terminology that we defined in class, do you find some authors' analyses more successful than others? Why (or why not)?  Think about your own major and/or minor field(s) (or if you are undeclared, an area in which you  have taken several courses). Have you encountered intersectional thinking in this area? If so, describe; if not, why do you think this approach is not utilized?

Please post your response by 2:30 Tuesday, but feel free to add comments after you finish the readings for Thursday's class. Your response should be 175-225 words.