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Intersectional Feminist Theory and Materializations of Diverse Plural, Fluid, Multivalent, Intersectional Gender Identities in the Historic Jewish Diaspora on Greater Boston’s Landscape

Author(s): Suzanne Spencer-Wood

Year: 2017

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Summary

Intersectional feminist theory was introduced in the 1980s as an African-American critique of structural feminist theories that universalized white middle-class women’s experiences of patriarchy. Language shifted from interactions to intersections of gender systems with an expanding set of social structures, from race to class, ethnicity, religion, etc. These intersections became the basis for research on plural, fluid and multivalent identities. Intersectional feminist theory focuses on gender and sexuality because they are primary social structures central to constructions of self and identity by children, women and men. By the age of two children develop a clear gender identity, but they do not usually develop an awareness of race, ethnicity, or class differences until later. I have researched how Boston’s diaspora of diverse Jewish communities materialized their plural, fluid and multivalent gender identities at intersections with ethnicity, class, and religious sects. New types of sites, and spaces and furnishings in synagogues changed as congregations fluidly moved back and forth along the continuum between orthodox and reform Judaism, adopted some gendered aspects of Protestantism, moved up the class ladder from poverty into the middle class, and changed from being viewed as an inferior race to being considered white by Anglo-Americans.


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Intersectional Feminist Theory and Materializations of Diverse Plural, Fluid, Multivalent, Intersectional Gender Identities in the Historic Jewish Diaspora on Greater Boston’s Landscape. Suzanne Spencer-Wood. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431953)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16054

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America