Intersectıonality, Politics Of Identity And Gender: Civil Society Organizations İn France
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The concept of intersectionality in feminist theory, which has been embraced especially in parallel by third-wave feminists, is strongly contested by many belonging to the second wave of feminism. Considering the different historical backgrounds and their present-day consequences in the Anglo-Saxon and Continental European traditions, in each country the meaning of intersectionality could consist of different elements besides the quintessential elements of the concept (race, class and gender). Also, even though those quintessential elements may be commonly used conceptualize the term, their implicit meanings might differ. Intersectionality and its meaning in French context have been discussed by CSOs through extremely important debates over laïcité which have shaped the foundation of identity politics, as well as the example of Muslim migrant women. Debates in which CSOs advocating women’s rights over the last 20 years have had a particularly active part have led to a need for an analysis of the concept of intersectionality in the light of French exceptionalism. Thus, this thesis is to explore how the concept of intersectionality is articulated in the French context by CSOs in France with regard to specific incidents such as prohibition of headscarf in public schools, visibility of Muslim women in public sphere, young generations’ challenges to integration policy. The argument of this thesis is that French context constitutes an exceptional case in terms of intersectionality due to the determining factors such as laïcité, racialization of Islam, integration policy, emancipation of Muslim veiled migrant women. Hence, the contribution of this thesis is to reveal how far the concept intersectionality can be stretched out in the exceptional case of France with regard to feminist movements in France and French republican values, integration policy and debates of laïcité through Muslim veiled migrant women.