How to be one’s gender, race, age, etc.? Intersectionality and Personal Identity

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperAcademic

Abstract

There is a widespread consensus among feminist scholars that the notion of intersectionality is vital to the field (McCall 2005), even though there is little agreement about how precisely to research and analyze it (Lutz c.s. 2011). Intersectionality is commonly understood as pertaining to different forms of inequality and discrimination that intersect with each other, such as gender, race, sexual orientation, age, (dis)ability. The notion in the first place relates to a person’s social situatedness, but concerns personal identity as well. This is often noticed in feminist scholarship (see Yuval-Davis 2006), but how intersectionality relates to personal identity precisely remains an open question.
In the mainstream philosophical theories about personal identity, in turn, the aspects that intersectionality thematizes are not taken into account. Most theories concentrate upon psychological or biological continuity, but the fact that we are situated socially and that this for a large part influences our self perception, is not taken into consideration. Merely the theories of narrative identity (Ricoeur 1992, Schechtman 1996, 2014) understand the narratives of others as part of one’s personal identity, but even these theories do not consider that we are gendered, aged, sexually oriented, etc.. In this paper, I aim at a notion of personal identity that does take into account these factors, by referring to Sartre’s notion of “the unrealizables” (1966: 527). With this notion, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, and (dis)ability can be interpreted as categories that are ascribed to us in a way that we cannot escape: we need to take a position towards them, even though we cannot realize them.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018
EventWomen and Philosophy in the Era of Globalization: Past, Present, and Future - Tshingua University, Beijing, China
Duration: 10 Aug 201812 Aug 2018
http://www.women-philosophy.org

Conference

ConferenceWomen and Philosophy in the Era of Globalization: Past, Present, and Future
CountryChina
CityBeijing
Period10/08/1812/08/18
Internet address

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