The Politics of Recognition and Intersectionality in The United States of America

In the past, the politics of the United States of America has been marred by aspects of intersectionality and politics of recognition. Intersectionality is referred to the manner in which the society categorizes people (Yuval-Davis, 2006). The basis of the categorization falls under societal characteristics such as race, gender, and the social classes. In most cases, the stated social aspects create discrimination and disadvantage particular groups of people in the society. Politics of recognition, on the other hand, talks about the aspects that people put into consideration when recognizing others in the society (Yuval-Davis, 2006). The politics of recognition shapes the way people live in the society. The primary argument is that the society has failed to look at the positive side of intersectionality and politics of recognition.

Race is one of the aspects that define the race intersectionality. The United States is composed of people of various races, the majority being the non-Hispanic whites and the minority being the people of color (Verloo, 2006). For a long time, cases of racial discrimination have been witnessed. Looking back to the Civil Right Movement in the United States, one is at a position of knowing the kind of oppression that the people of color went through (Hancock, 2007). After the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1963, the people of color expected that the cases of discrimination would be long gone. However, aspects of intersectionality have made it difficult for the discrimination to end.

Racial discrimination is rooted in the United States of America. One of the ways is through voter disenfranchisement (Cole, 2008). Although it has been difficult to publicly address the issue because those who are involved are the minority, many people of color have been denied the right to cast their votes and democratically elect people who can represent their interest (IEP, 2018). Among the States, California happens to be one of the states where the disenfranchisement has taken roots. It is vital to note that majority of people in the said state are the African Americans (Verloo, 2006). Some of the ways through which the disenfranchisement takes place include intimidation and imposition of strict voting roots. The silence of the relevant authorities to address the issue affirms the negative perception that people have about intersectionality and politics of race.

The negative view has extended to the justice department. The aspect of intersectionality and politics of recognition that brings out the idea of the negative view is social classes. Conventionally, the society is composed of people from different social levels. The known classes include the people in the upper class, those in the middle class and the individuals in the lower societal class (IEP, 2018). It is quite unfortunate that the three groups are treated differently when they have federal cases. An individual in the lower societal class will have a difficult time before the judges in case he or she has violated some of the rules. On the other hand, the people on the middle class will face minimal leniency from the justice departments (IEP, 2018). The most significant challenge is seen on the side of the people in the upper societal class. Most of the people who are in the upper class have money hence have the power to change the outcome of a court case.

For far too long, the politicians have always gotten away with some of their cases because they have money. Politicians will steal a huge amount of money meant development and the funny thing is that they will get away with the case even if they are presented before the courts. The case is however different for the poor individuals because their chances of facing jail terms are high. In such a manner, justice is given a wrong definition. It is vital to accept that people belong to different classes in the society (IEP, 2018). The justice department should not use the amount of wealth that an individual has to identify to judge a case presented before them because it is never right.

The justice departments and correctional officers equally have a negative perception of intersectionality and the politics of recognition when it comes to the kinds of arrests made. The inherent idea in the United States of America is that most of the people who are involved in criminal activities are the blacks (Natarajan, 2018). Most of the poor and unemployed groups of people are the blacks. From these statistics, the law enforcement agencies have a feeling that the blacks can do anything to make their survival possible, including involvement in criminal activities (Natarajan, 2018). Although the people of color form the majority of the poor individuals, it is not obvious that they are the perpetrators of crime.

When a criminal activity is committed in an area, the blacks are the first suspects. An example is the case of a homicide; if a white individual is the victim and an African American lives within the neighborhood, the chances are that the black will be the first suspect (Cole, 2008). Most of the people of color have fallen victims of mistaken identity (Natarajan, 2018). The sad part is that it does not get better. It even gets worse because most of the officers do not follow the rule of law when apprehending the blacks. People have often complained that their houses have been searched without search warrants because they are blacks.

The issue of black profiling does not stop at falsified victimization of criminal activities (Natarajan, 2018). Most of the officers in the correctional facilities use the blacks to perpetrate drug trafficking. The fight against drugs in the United States has not been easy. If anything, eradicating it might be difficult (CLU, 2018). The problem is the negative perception that the law enforcement agencies have on intersectionality and politics of recognition (Natarajan, 2018). They (Law enforcement officers) have a belief that only the blacks for the most significant drug cartels. However, the issue is different because the blacks are only seen because they are trying to find their means of survival (Natarajan, 2018). The whites run the real cartels. It, therefore, means that the whites and the law enforcement agencies have negative perception intersectionality and politics of recognition.

One of the aspects intersectionality that has realized imminent change since time immemorial is gender. In the past, most of the individuals faced some problems including suffrage. They were denied the right to take part in elections because of the misguided notion that their voice did not matter. Besides, they did not have the power to vie for elective posts. The situation has changed in the current society (CLU, 2018). Most of the females have equal opportunity as men, and they compete favorably. They (women) have the same opportunity to vie for elective positions. In the United States, for example, women can compete with the men in the country's top job, the presidency (Cho, Crenshaw " McCall, 2013). Besides, women have transitioned from being housewives whose role is to take care of the household. Instead, they find it enjoyable to come out and engage in businesses that prevent them from depending on the men. However, it is unfortunate that some of the male counterparts still look down upon females and deem them as lesser beings. Such cases are minimal because the society has always been strong in defending the females.

Just as it is with the aspect of gender, there is a pressing need to embrace positive interpersonally and politics of recognition (Cho, Crenshaw " McCall, 2013). The genesis of the positive view is accepting that the society cannot be composed of people who are of similar. It is not by choice that one is born black and the other, white. The same is the case when one is born a male and the other, a female. People have to live with these differences no matter what and chances of discrimination should be shunned at all costs. A society cannot live best when there

To conclude, the people in the United States of America and the rest of the world have to stop the negative view intersectionality and politics of recognition. As per the history of the people of the United States, it has been a struggle living with people of different origins and those who embrace different cultures. One thing remains for a fact that if people continue to with the negative viewpoint, they will have to pay the price. The results of the civil right movement are still clear on the minds of most of the people who were caught up in the event. Besides, time may not erase these results from the history of the people in the United States. Accepting and embracing one another for who they are is the only option.


Cho, S., Crenshaw, K. W., " McCall, L. (2013). Toward a field of intersectionality studies: Theory, applications, and praxis. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 38(4), 785-810.

CLU. (2018). Racial Profiling. American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 28 February 2018, from

Cole, E. R. (2008). Coalitions as a model for intersectionality: From practice to theory. Sex roles, 59(5-6), 443-453.

Hancock, A. M. (2007). When multiplication does not equal quick addition: Examining intersectionality as a research paradigm. Perspectives on politics, 5(1), 63-79.

IEP. (2018). Recognition, Social and Political | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 28 February 2018, from

McCall, L. (2005). The complexity of intersectionality. Signs: Journal of women in culture and society, 30(3), 1771-1800.

Natarajan, R. (2018). Racial profiling has destroyed public trust in police. Cops are exploiting our weak laws against it.. Washington Post. Retrieved 28 February 2018, from

Verloo, M. (2006). Multiple inequalities, intersectionality and the European Union. European Journal of Women's Studies, 13(3), 211-228.

Yuval-Davis, N. (2006). Intersectionality and feminist politics. European journal of women's studies, 13(3), 193-209.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price