Theory, Research, & Praxis
Chapter Nine: The Tapestry Model: Exploring Social Identities, Privilege, and Oppression from an Intersectional Perspective
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Exploring Social Identities, Privilege, and Oppression from an Intersectional Perspective
DIANE J. GOODMAN
An intersectional perspective requires a shift in how social identities and social oppression are often conceptualized. Instead of a multiple identities or additive approach, which treats different social identities and forms of inequality as separate and independent from each other, an intersectional approach focuses on understanding how different social categories simultaneously interact, shaping people’s identities and lived experiences. I have found for myself and others that this shift in perspective is clearer on a theoretical level but more challenging to fully embody in practice. Even when there is an intention to examine situations with an intersectional lens, there is a tendency to default to a single identity/oppression analysis.
As I have tried to fully grasp, apply, and teach about intersectionality. I have searched for ways to conceptualize key aspects of an intersectional approach and highlight its distinctiveness from a multiple identities/additive approach. To this end, I developed the Tapestry Model. The Tapestry Model (TM) uses the metaphor of weaving a tapestry to explicate some of the main tenets of an intersectional framework and other aspects of how people experience social identities within larger systems of structural inequality. In this chapter, I first provide background and context for the TM and then describe how it can be used to illustrate concepts of intersectionality. Next, I suggest additional ways the TM can be used to explore other...
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