This is a new initiative our team thought would help boost the reading of books with an EDI angle. We plan to bring new recommendations monthly to this blog, so please feel free to send your recommendations and a paragraph on the book to email@example.com.
We start with the very first recommendation by Luca Marinelli, a third-year PhD student at EECS.
Intersectionality (Key concepts 2nd edition), by Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge, Cambridge, UK, Polity Press, 2020
After being coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in the late 1980s, the term “Intersectionality” has been much discussed over, to the point where it recently entered mainstream media and became a buzzword. Hill Collins and Bilge help us clear things up a bit. For them, intersectionality investigates how intersecting power relations influence social relations across diverse societies and individual experiences in everyday life. As an analytic tool, intersectionality views categories of race, class, gender, sexuality, class, nation, ability, ethnicity, and age – among others – as interrelated and mutually shaping one another (ibid, p. 2). Intersectionality is then both a critical method of enquiry and a praxis, through which we understand power relations of race, gender and class, for example, not as discrete and mutually exclusive, but as building on each other and working together.
Rather than focusing on academic discourse, the book offers us several case studies and helps us understand how intersectionality was transformed as it travelled to Europe from the USA. They achieve academic rigour remaining all the way through extremely accessible to students, as theory and praxis always go hand in hand. In this much-needed introduction, Hill Collins and Bilge warn us against watering down intersectionality to corporate diversity talks, thereby losing sight of what is important, namely, social equality and justice.