General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Gender, race, class. An introduction to intersectional analysis
Language English
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr hab. Monika Bobako
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position AMU professor
Faculty Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Science
Semester 2024/2025 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 23-PIE-GRC


Module aim (aims)

A goal of the course is to introduce participants to a diverse research field that has developed in the humanities and social sciences around a concept of intersectionality. The concept originated in Black feminist thought in the 1980s and quickly transformed into the theoretical framework indispensable for any critical examination of various forms of social inequalities. As we will show, it has also influenced understanding of identity issues and contributed to studies on cognitive attitudes stemming from different identity positions. During the course we will explain the meaning of intersectionality, trace its intellectual origins and discuss its significance for the feminist-oriented theory and practice. We will be particularly interested in the approaches aiming to grasp intersections of gender, race and class but we will also look at other dimensions of inequality related to culture, sexual orientation, age or ability/disability. The course will focus on highlighting power relations that operate at these intersections and examining the ways in which they are lived, embodied and contested. It will also address criticism that has been articulated in response to some of the applications of intersectionality.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


Intersectionality: the origins of a concept

Gender and gender order: theoretical approaches

Race and systemic nature of racism

Gender and race: context-specific intersections

Feminism and the question of racism. Feminism and colonialism.

Gender and cultural difference. Feminist universalism vs "Western cultural imperialism"

Class and social structure

Gender and class. Feminist theories of capitalism

Gender and sexuality. Transgender and non-binary subjectivities

Intersectional approach to disability

Intersectional approach to age and aging

Controversies over intersectionality: a question of appropriation and misapplication of the concept

Reading list

Acker, Joan. 1990. "Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organizations." Gender & Society 4(2): 139-158.

Anthias, Floya. 2013. "Hierarchies of Social Location, Class and Intersectionality: Towards a Translocational Frame." International Sociology 28(1): 121-138.

Carbin, Maria, Edenheim, Sara "The intersectional turn in feminist theory: A dream of a common language?", European Journal of Women's Studies, Volume: 20 issue: 3, 2013.

Carby, Hazel V. „White Women Listen!”, in: The Empire Strikes Back. Race and Racism in 70s Britain, Routledge, London, New York 1992.

Collins, Patricia Hill. 2000. “Gender, Black Feminism, and Black Political Economy.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 568:41-53.

Crenshaw, Kimberle "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics," University of Chicago Legal Forum: Vol. 1989.

Fraser, Nancy "Feminism, Capitalism and the Cunning of History", New Left Review 56 March/April 2009.

Gerschick Thomas J. "Toward a Theory of Disability and Gender", Signs, Vol. 25, No. 4, Summer 2000.

Hartmann, Heidi I. "The unhappy marriage of Marxism and feminism: towards a more progressive union", Capital & Class 12 (2) Summer 1979. 

Hooks, bell, "Feminism and class power", in: Where We Stand: Class Matters, New York: Routledge 2000.

hooks, bell, “Feminism and Racism”, in: bell hooks Ain’t I a Woman. Black Women and Feminism, Pluto Press, Londyn, Winchester, 1990.

Krekula, Clary "The Intersection of Age and Gender. Reworking Gender Theory and Social Gerontology", Current Sociology, Volume: 55 issue: 2, 2007.

Narayan, Uma, “Essence of Culture and a sense of History: A Feminist Critique of Cultural Essentialism", in: Decentering the Center, Philosophy for a Multicultural, Postcolonial, and Feminist World. (ed.) Uma Narayan, Sandra Harding), Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indianapolis, 2000.