Essay Sample on The Intersectional Approach Advances Social Change and Social Justice Work

Published: 2023-04-11
Essay Sample on The Intersectional Approach Advances Social Change and Social Justice Work
Type of paper:  Article review
Categories:  Discrimination Languages Social justice Social change
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1262 words
11 min read

The Intersectional Approach Advance Social Change and Social Justice Work?

The intersectional approach, as noted by Ferber, involves "the interaction of multiple social identities in shaping the reality of oppression and privilege" (Chapter 23, p.246). This quote implies that individuals are obligated to encircle an intersectional strategy in analyzing social concerns and ultimately develop efficient social movement responses to achieve social change and justice. This approach explains how social experiences and the oppression systems intersect, thus creating substantial justice barriers. These barriers are deeply rooted in society and result in various ways that different people are treated socially. An intersectional approach is used to develop solutions to the obstacles in society. Therefore, the following section of this essay seeks to offer ways in which the intersectional approach advances the work of both social changes, as well as social justice.

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One of the ways that the intersectional approach advances the work of social change and justice involves the possibility that the intersectional perspective promotes social equity in society. This approach promotes diversity of experiences, which different populations face within the community. These experiences make them to either receive or lack certain privileges in society. Gay men, especially the white gay population, are often marginalized and discriminated against. A classic example is a quote by Kimmel that explains a form of marginalization and racial exclusion where certain management of a night disco was involved in "policing the borders of white gay institutions to prevent people of color from entering" (Ch. 17, Berube). As such, gay men are treated in a discriminatory way in society perceived as less masculine. Based on Kimmel's findings, gay men may be stereotyped and discriminated in a way that they cannot attend other men forums. In such a situation, the intersectional approach analyses these personal experiences and creates ways of accommodating them in society as a privilege through the introduction of a law that protects them from discrimination. As a result, there is social change and justice for such a category of people. As such, the intersectional approach has played a crucial role in enhancing gay men's human rights in the legalization of gay marriages in the USA.

The intersectional approach promotes social justice by making civil rights laws adequate to fight against pernicious racism (Ch. 20, Tehranian). The intersectional approach emphasizes the society and the legal structure to acknowledge the unconscious racism that is evident in the community. As such, the unconscious racism results in the development of government policies and regulations "like equal protection doctrine" that is wide enough to accommodate both unconscious and intentional racism (Ch. 20, Tehranian). The equal protection doctrine is attached exclusively to state action, including governmental policies and regulations. This strategy has played a vital role in reducing the stereotypes against people of color within the white-dominated societies where the Middle EastEnders are currently privileged from the protection against selective racialization when they engage in wrongdoings.

The processing of information concerning the intersectional approach can potentially impact social change negatively, which results in a difficult situation for establishing social change. This concept indicates contrasting principles, especially when directed to the privileges of different groups of people. The contrasting principles imply that some practices are acceptable to the rich but unacceptable to the poor; for instance, the poor black men are more oppressed than the rich black men. An instance involving acceptable practices among the rich individuals as opposed to the poor includes the case "the truly wealthy want everyone to think they are less wealthy than they are" (Ch. 17, Berube).

The working-class men within a given society often consider their gender privilege minimized, as well as their masculinity questioned. In support of this assertion, Kimmel and Coston noted that "A working-class man, for example, may also be white and have access to white privilege and male privilege. What is interesting is how these men choose to navigate and access their privilege within the confines of a particular social role that limits, devalues, and often stigmatizes them as not -men" (Ch. 16, Kimmel and Coston). As such, the efforts of the working-class men to obtain privilege are acknowledged by the norms, ideals, and standards within which the society measures the masculinity of a man along with the consequences or privileges of his deviance or adherence.

Language Power

A language is a powerful tool in social change, social justice, and discrimination. Carol Mukhopadhyay writes that "language is one of the most systematic, subtle, and significant vehicles for transmitting ideology" (Chapter 21, p.232). Language can be so powerful in a manner that it can potentially dictate respect and the social status that should be adhered to by individuals within a given society. However, the use of certain language terms can change the perceptions of people regarding other human beings and things. For instance, as Carol Mukhopadhyay argues, "for those designated Caucasian, the term subtly erases their ethnicity, their own ancestry, cultural traditions, and experiences" (Chapter 21). In other words, language can potentially oppress certain groups of people. Furthermore, the use of certain terms determines where a certain group of people is appreciated or rejected by society.

One of the ways that language is powerful is that it contributes to racism in the world. The use of language has led people to think that people of certain races are more superior to others. For instance, the use of the term Caucasian led to the development of the theory of racial classification where "American scientists tried to prove that Caucasians had larger brans and were smarter than people of other races" (Ch. 21, Mukhopadhyay). Additionally, in the USA, the term Caucasian was used to refer to a man that was "God's image" (Ch. 21, Mukhopadhyay). Initially, the term Caucasian was used to refer to people that lived in the Caucasus Mountains. These people were referred to as the most beautiful human beings who were God's original creation and, thus, had a higher IQ than other persons. In other words, the use of language made them superior to people of other races, especially the black population

The second example that language is powerful is that it is used to amplify mineralization or notification. Language is used by the stigmatized society members to prove that they have some talents and abilities better than those of the dominant group (Ch. 16, Kimmel and Coston). This is because language is used to exaggerate situations and appearances as well as abilities. For instance, African Americans used language to exaggerate their entertainment abilities such as the use of the legal hero talk televised show about Watkins's "victory over antigay discrimination in the military and expose the racist hypocrisy" became suspended for African American race during wartime (Ch. 17, Berube). As a result, the whites ended up associating them to be entertainment kings, a field they had never excelled in previously.

The third example involves the fact that language is powerful because it influences the privileges received by some societies. If the language used makes some communities superior to others, they are likely to have more privileges. Generally, language is a very powerful tool that can potentially advance social change through abstract liberalism. Abstract liberalism has, over time, relied upon the power of language to address the concern of equal opportunities across diverse societies around the globe. In support of this claim, noted that "abstract liberalism relies upon the language of political liberalism referring to abstract concepts of equal opportunity, relationality, and free choice" (Ch. 23, Ferber). This implies that any person has the ability to succeed by working had, along with the fact that racism is an irrelevant feature in the equation.


Kimmel, M. S., & Ferber, A. L. (2017). Privilege: A Reader. ISBN13:978-0-8133-5003-5.

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