chapter  2
Unpacking the intersections of identity and politics and the politics of studying identity: a black feminist theoretical and epistemological tool kit
ByAdryan Wallace
Pages 9

As a discipline political science analyzes the ways in which political theory and practice impact the defi nition and distribution of resources within and between states. Although the right to defi ne and allocate resources necessitates that power differentials among groups are explored, the intersections of race, gender, and class are not always fully integrated into normative theoretical frames. In order to reverse this trend, women and politics scholars utilize gender as an analytical category to interrogate the impacts of race, class, and gender and other identity categories on politics. These works challenge political theories that construct women as apolitical, increase the visibility of women as political actors, and cultivate frameworks capable of capturing the infl uence of gender dynamics on political processes and their outcomes. While these contributions were critical they often failed to include the political activities and engagements of women of color. Black feminists and other women of color in the US and the global south critiqued the tendency to universalize the experiences of liberal white heterosexual western women and make them the central point of theorizing about gender and politics. There is an extensive and well-developed literature on the ways in which the mutually constitutive nature of race, gender, and class shape identities, which in turn can serve as sites of resistance to generate social change both domestically and globally.