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Rethinking Intersectionality: Conceptual Problems in Comparative Research on Gendered Welfare States

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Abstract:

How do social relations of group oppression such as gender, race and class, shape welfare states? In spite of a burgeoning literature that examine how welfare states are gendered and classed, there are few efforts to employ the idea of intersectionality in cross-national analyses of the welfare. In this paper, I show that this is no accident. Indeed, the strong version of intersectionality prevents structural analysis of gender, race or class politics. Moreover, this version of the concept is nearly impossible to operationalize. Fortunately, the fundamental insight behind the idea of intersectionality does not require this version of the concept. Indeed, the indeterminacy of the common understanding of the concept of intersectionality is not widely recognized- few scholars recognize the wide range of patterns of social organization that are consistent with the core idea of intersectionality. In this paper I reformulate the idea of intersectionality in a way that is more compatible with the social-structural analysis from which it grew. I then adapt the concept to the cross-national analysis of welfare states, and I conclude with a proposed framework for using the concept of intersectionality in a cross-national analysis of welfare states.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

gender (164), social (163), women (147), class (132), polici (131), intersect (122), race (119), group (109), state (95), welfar (77), structur (70), analysi (52), polit (52), experi (45), differ (41), idea (41), problem (36), margin (35), univers (35), nation (34), categori (34),

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Feminist Theory, Intersectionality, Welfare State, Gender, Race, Class, Comparative Politics
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MLA Citation:

Weldon, S. Laurel. "Rethinking Intersectionality: Conceptual Problems in Comparative Research on Gendered Welfare States" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham, Washington Hilton, Washington, DC, Sep 01, 2005 <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p41944_index.html>

APA Citation:

Weldon, S. L. , 2005-09-01 "Rethinking Intersectionality: Conceptual Problems in Comparative Research on Gendered Welfare States" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham, Washington Hilton, Washington, DC Online <PDF>. 2013-12-17 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p41944_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
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Abstract: How do social relations of group oppression such as gender, race and class, shape welfare states? In spite of a burgeoning literature that examine how welfare states are gendered and classed, there are few efforts to employ the idea of intersectionality in cross-national analyses of the welfare. In this paper, I show that this is no accident. Indeed, the strong version of intersectionality prevents structural analysis of gender, race or class politics. Moreover, this version of the concept is nearly impossible to operationalize. Fortunately, the fundamental insight behind the idea of intersectionality does not require this version of the concept. Indeed, the indeterminacy of the common understanding of the concept of intersectionality is not widely recognized- few scholars recognize the wide range of patterns of social organization that are consistent with the core idea of intersectionality. In this paper I reformulate the idea of intersectionality in a way that is more compatible with the social-structural analysis from which it grew. I then adapt the concept to the cross-national analysis of welfare states, and I conclude with a proposed framework for using the concept of intersectionality in a cross-national analysis of welfare states.

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Document Type: PDF
Page count: 28
Word count: 10926
Text sample:
Rethinking Intersectionality: Some conceptual problems and solutions for the comparative study of welfare states S. L. Weldon Associate Professor Political Science Purdue University August 2005 Prepared for delivery at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association September 1 - September 4 2005. Copyright by the American Political Science Association How do social relations of group oppression such as gender race and class shape welfare states? How does the constellation of relationships between social structures and social
William Julius. 1995 “Poverty Social Rights and the Quality of Citizenship” in McFate Katherine Roger Lawson William Julius Wilson eds. Poverty Inequality and the Future of Social Policy. Russell Sage: New York 1995. Wright Erik Olin.1997. Class Counts: Comparative Studies in Class Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Young. Iris Marion. 1994. "Gender as Seriality: Thinking about Women as a Social Collective " Signs Spring 1994 Vol. 19 no.3 pp.713-738. Young. Iris Marion. 2000. Inclusion and Democracy. Oxford Series in


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