The study of dress and adornment practices is perforce the study of the materialisation of intersecting identities. Class, gender, sexuality, age, race, dis/ability and other identity markers are all writ large on an individual’s clothed body and Crenshaw’s (1991: 1296) suggestion in her influential Stanford Law Review article, ‘Mapping the margins: intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color’, ‘that intersectionality might be […] broadly useful as a way of mediating the tension between assertions of multiple identity and the ongoing necessity of group politics’ sits at the heart of this issue of Clothing Cultures. Both explicitly and implicitly, the papers herein respond to Crenshaw’s behest that intersectionality ‘be expanded by factoring in issues such as class, sexual orientation, age, and color’ (1991: 1245). They reveal and explore the power of such socially constructed identity categories and in doing so corroborate her belief that categories do indeed ‘have meaning and consequences’ but that the ‘most pressing problem, in many if not most cases, is not the existence of the categories, but rather the particular values attached to them, and the way those values foster and create social hierarchies’ (1991: 1297).
Franklin, A. (2018). Editorial: Intersectional dress. Clothing Cultures, 5(3), 311-313. https://doi.org/10.1386/cc.5.3.311_2