Intersectionality and Critical Race Theory: A Genealogical Note from a CLS Point of View

13 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2017

Date Written: August 6, 2017

Abstract

This comment, written as a contribution to an as yet unpublished book collection on Kim Crenshaw’s intersectionality writings, develops Crenshaw’s notion of critical legal studies as a “condition of possibility” for critical race theory. In terms of genealogy CRT is “descended” from CLS. I’ll give my own brief version of CLS as the “incubator” of CRT, and then shift to two other aspects of the mid-1980’s context, unrelated to CLS, that seem to me just as important in the genealogy. Then I ‘ll try to show that the incubator image understates the extent to which, as Kim I think rightly argued in her “Preface,” intersectionality, a major tendency within CRT, is an extension and development of substantive crit ideas about the role of law in social injustice. In the last section I remember with somewhat perverse old white male heavy satisfaction some of the ways in which CRT intersectionality disrupted the standard rhetorical moves of black men and white women, all the while forwarding a cross-category left coalition agenda.

Keywords: intersectionality, critical race theory, critical legal studies, sociology of law, legal theory, antidiscrination law, race and gender

Suggested Citation

Kennedy, Duncan, Intersectionality and Critical Race Theory: A Genealogical Note from a CLS Point of View (August 6, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3014312

Duncan Kennedy (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4619 (Phone)

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