Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

8-2015

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Communication

Degree Program

Communication, MA

Committee Chair

Walker, Kandi

Committee Member

Sohn, Steve

Committee Member

Owen, David

Subject

African American lesbians; Self-perception

Abstract

The theory of intersectionality posits that inclusion in multiple stigmatized identity groups results in intersectional rather than additive oppression, making it impossible to examine any one form of oppression in isolation. Black lesbians experience multiple forms of oppression—based on their sex, gender, race, and sexual orientation—making their experiences an ideal opportunity for analyzing the impact of intersectionality. Drawing from feminist theory and research, this thesis uses multiple Black lesbian narratives selected from two texts, interwoven with research from Black scholars, to present an innovative method of inquiry designed to uncover the intersections in their lives. The juxtaposition of the narratives against the scholarly research illuminates the interplay between the various forms of oppression they experience, and the unique and adaptive ways in which these women craft their identities and respond to their oppression.

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