Edited By Elizabeth J. Meyer and Dennis Carlson
34. Multiple Targeted Identities: Intersectionality and the Lived Experiences of Black Gay Males
Literature on Black Gay Males
Multiple Targeted Identities
Intersectionality and the Lived Experiences of Black Gay Males
James M. DeVita & Allison Daniel Anders
In this chapter, we engage the everyday politics of navigating multiple targeted identities using the conception of intersectionality put forth by Kimberlé Crenshaw (1991a, 1991b, 1995), whose work centers around race and the law. The application of Crenshaw’s conception of intersectionality provides for dialogic exchanges about gender and sexuality, as well as opportunities to critique the ways social and institutional power target multiple subordinated identities. We represent Crenshaw’s articulations of intersectionality and apply her conception to research completed with Black male undergraduates who identify as gay.
We first introduce context and scholarship on race and sexual orientation. We present then Crenshaw’s work on structural, political, and representational intersectionality, and argue for analysis that privileges the lived experiences of targeted groups, rather than abstract theorizing about targeted groups (Abu-Lughod, 1991; Noblit, 1999). Crenshaw’s (1991b) commitment to interrogating systemic issues and patterns of social power, and her analyses of interactional disenfranchisement and disempowerment devote attention to the everyday lived experience of targeted groups. Ultimately, she argued for institutional and political changes that acknowledge the interactional experience of race and gender; we argue that “in the pursuit of political and structural equity one must consider the intersectionality of targeted individuals” (Anders, DeVita, & Oliver, 2012, p. 72). We investigate the application of her work in the illustrative scholarship that follows. Finally, we...
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