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The Creation of Restricted Opportunity due to the Intersection of Race & Sex: Black Women in the Bottom Class

Enobong Hannah Branch
Race, Gender & Class
Vol. 14, No. 3/4 (2007), pp. 247-264
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41675302
Page Count: 18
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The Creation of Restricted Opportunity due to the Intersection of Race & Sex: Black Women in the Bottom Class
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Abstract

In Horton, Allen, Herring, and Thomas' (2000) study of the black working class, a historical picture is painted in which black women are shown to be uniquely disadvantaged as it pertains to economic position more so than either black men or white women, their experiences parallel neither group. The factors that precipitated this pattern are the concern of this paper. In particular, I propose an integrative theory of race, gender, and class that is based on the utilization of one's occupation as an indicator of economic class. I will then explore the intersection of race and gender in historically creating the disadvantage experienced by black women in the American occupational structure. The advancement of black men, I argue, occurred under the guise of male privilege although they were black and the advancement of white women occurred under the guise of white privilege although they were female, however, black women were both black and female, thus there was no guise, no point of privilege by which they could have advanced. Hence we see their increase in the bottom class during the time when the rates for black men and white women were decreasing.

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