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God, Gays, and Progressive Politics: Reconceptualizing Intersectionality as a Normatively Malleable Analytical Framework

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 May 2013

Keisha Lindsay*
Departments of Gender and Women's Studies and Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison. E-mail:


I draw on conservative black Christians' claims regarding their co-constitutive racial, religious, class, and sexual subordination to demonstrate that intersectionality is a heuristic that can be used to advance a range of normative arguments. My research rejects traditional understandings of intersectionality as a necessarily progressive analytical framework, as well as recent discussions that suggest that intersectionality's use for conservative ends is evidence of its theoretical underdevelopment. My analysis also reveals that by positing interlocking racism, classism, heterophobia, and anti-Christian bigotry as blacks' “true” experience of oppression, conservative black Christians guide political scientists to consider 1) that intersectional analysis is central rather than antithetical to in-group policing; 2) that we can best interrogate the standards that social groups use to police their boundaries when we adopt a normative-critical conception of power, and 3) that power so defined challenges the erroneous assumption that our role is to either describe or prescribe social reality.

Research Article
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2013 

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