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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] There are many different types of discrimination, including things like discrimination based on sex, gender, culture, race and other factors. We can often consider these things in isolation. But what happens when someone experiences multiple forms of discrimination at the same time? What happens when we have overlapping areas of discrimination? One of the things that can happen is that we can have individuals in our society that have characteristics that can result in them facing discrimination in multiple different areas. For example, we can have a female who is of African American origin, and who, for example, practices Buddhist teachings, and in a particular society within our country that may cause her to be discriminated against in three different areas. So, if we were to draw her circles of discrimination, what would her overlap look like? She may have one overlap based on her sexual gender. She may have one overlap based on her racial or cultural identification, and she may have another circle based on her religious ideas. Right in the center, we have this level of extreme overlap. Right at the intersection. Now, why is it important to consider this intersection of these three different areas? It's important because at this intersection is multiple different categories of potential discrimination or oppression may compound an interplay in this one individual, and really significantly put her at a disadvantage within society. In order to understand the level of disadvantage that she has, we really need to understand all three of these factors. The theory of intersectionality really states just that. It really focuses on the point in which these multiple different areas of potential discrimination overlap with one another, and exist along side one another. We really need to understand when all of these things coexist, because if we don't consider all of them at the same time, we really don't get to fully understand the situation. So, in this individual, if we just consider the fact that she likes Buddhist teachings, in a culture or society that really doesn't appreciate that, and we miss the fact that the society also doesn't appreciate the fact that she's female, or discriminates against African Americans. We may not fully understand the level of discrimination that she faces. And the same situation would result if we only considered the fact that she was female in the sexist society, or that she was African American in a racist society. So, this theory of intersectionality really asks us to consider all of the different levels of discrimination. While the theory was originally coined in 1989 by Crenshaw as a feminist theory to explain the oppression of women, it has since really expanded out. People of then really use it to explain oppression and discrimination found in all parts of society.