Women Without Class Paper
11 April 2013
In her book Women Without Class: Girls, Race, and Identity Julie Bettie delves into the aspect of girls in high school. Specifically focusing on groups of Hispanic and Caucasian girls in a high school in California. She emphasizes harsh social and discursive hierarchies between different peer groups in the high school. She shows how race and gender are nothing more than a performance, not an identity. Bettie discusses the ideas of intersectionality, gender performance, and the margininalization of working-class students throughout her book.
Intersectionality was a term first coined by Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989, to describe how oppressive institutions (racism, sexism) act together and cannot be examined separately from one another. Intersectionality almost always deals with those seen as weak or less than (women, minorities). Intersectionality examines how multiple forms of discrimination compound on each other. For instance, white people are advantaged over African-American people; men are more advantaged over women. So an African-American woman is highly less advantaged than a white woman and a man of color. As can be seen in this example, being of color and being a woman compounds the discrimination factor by a great amount. There seems to be a latent form of intersectionality and an implied form that is brought on one’s self. It seems as intersectionality can be brought on one’s self, as seen discussed on page 132 referring to the punk scene in Britain, “Punk, a sub cultural style… but it is also a style that signifies a rejection of normative conventions of femininity and masculinity… within this sign system, conventional ideals of feminine beauty are rejected and parodied”. When you think of a girl who is a participant in the punk scene, one readily identifies that it is girl and she is a punk, therefore it is difficult to separate these identities and say...
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