Journal #3

Due date varies based on your spice group (find spice group information through the Course Quick Guide in the Week 0 Module)

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The systems and structures that shape cultural norms and our perceptions—and, therefore, that create/shape single stories—do not operate in a vacuum. As our course texts and discussions have shown, structures interact with each other. They are intertwined, so they shape our bodies and experiences simultaneously. Kimberlé Crenshaw explains this deftly and eloquently in her TED Talk through the concept of intersectionality.

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Therefore, you must use at least one specific idea from Kimberlé Crenshaw’s TED Talk, bell hooks’s essay, or Audre Lorde’s essay in Women in Culture. The second text you cite must be from the week you’re submitting your journal entry.

Part of analyzing and complicating single stories involves understanding how our world is more complex than the “truth” a single story creates.  For example, in our class we discuss 

  • how different identity categories, “isms,” and/or systems of power and privilege are operating at the same time to affect how people perceive us and we perceive ourselves, and
  • how social identity categories are heterogeneous:  there is “difference within” this category (e.g., not all “women” are the same or experience gender in the same way).

Entry Instructions

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To start doing this work, entry #3 will explore how multiple systems, structures, and/or social identity categories operate simultaneously to shape identity categories and/or political or social issues. In at least 200 words, you’ll write about how an intersectional approach gives us a more complex— and hopefully more accurate— understanding of the world we live in. 

  • You could explore how the intersection of multiple structures affects stereotypes, privileges / disempowers people, or privileges / disempowers communities. 
  • You could discuss how an intersectional framework allows us to understand the formation or impact of inequities related to a particular issue or topic (e.g., economic issues, health issues, educational opportunities, how we remember and record history, etc.)
  • You can discuss how you would “apply” an intersectional approach to a specific topic/issue to avoid oppression, injustice, and/or single-story ideas about identity, people, communities, and/or places. In your entry, some examples of what you could focus on are
  • form of injustice (e.g., wage inequality)
  • a topic/concern related to your undergraduate major/minor
  • a strategy used by activists (e.g., changing a law or developing a community garden for a neighborhood)