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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Culturally Responsive Education: Intersectionality & Identity


Identity & Intersectionality

Identity refers to an aspect of who a person is."The term identity refers to a person's individual expression of himself or herself (personal identity) or group affiliation in reference to a culture, nation, gender, or religion (social identity). Identity can be described as distinctive characteristics of a person or groups of different affiliations. It refers to degrees of sameness with other persons or groups in a particular field."(1)

"Identity politics refers to activism, politics, theorizing, and other, similar activities based on the shared experiences of members of a specific social group (often relying on similar experiences of oppression)." (2) 

Intersectionality refers to the idea that we all occupy more than one identity position and that individuals can simultaneously benefit from power and be marginalized by lack of power. "Intersectionality is a framework meant to describe a person or a social problem holistically. Originating from the experiences of women of color who were often pigeonholed by race or gender, or as experiencing racism or sexism, but never both; intersectionality is directed at the gaps in academic literature, law, research, and activism. In short, intersectionality provides futher and more complex understandings of people's multiple identities and of experiences with racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and other forms of discrimination." (3)

(1) from: Yilmaz, Ismail, and Ilkay Akyay. "Identity." Encyclopedia of Social Deviance, edited by Craig J. Forsyth and Heith Copes, vol. 1, SAGE Reference, 2014, pp. 355-356. Gale Virtual Reference Library.

(2) from Lemonik Arthur, Mikaila Mariel. "Identity Politics." Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic, edited by Charles A. Gallagher and Cameron D. Lippard, vol. 2, Greenwood, 2014, pp. 565-566. Gale Virtual Reference Library, 

(3) from Falcón, Sylvanna M. "Intersectionality." Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, edited by Jodi O'Brien, vol. 1, SAGE Publications, 2009, pp. 467-469. Gale Virtual Reference Library, 

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