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Jean Ait Belkhir, Race, Gender Class Journal
Marxism, and Class, Gender, and Race: Rethinking the TrilogyAuthor(s): Martha E. GimenezSource:
Race, Gender & Class,
Vol. 8, No. 2, Marxism: Race, Gender, & Class (2001), pp. 23-33Published by:
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Accessed: 09/02/2014 17:28
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Race, Gender S Class: Volume 8, Number , 2001 (23-33) Race, Gender & Class Website, www.suno.edu/sunorgc /Marxism, and Class, Gender, and /Bice: ÛËTHINKING THE TklLOGY Martha E. Gimenez, Sociology University of Colorado at Boulder Abstract: his paper xamines he oundness f ritical ssessments f Marxism which resent, s an unassailable onclusion, he iew hat Marx nd Marxism re of little se for he study f the connections etween lass, gender nd race. Arguing hat, ontrary o the prevailing iew, Marx and Marxism re indeed necessary or lucidating he elationship etween lass and dentities, he uthor examines he imitations f the Race, Gender & Class perspective nd suggests that he nameless ower nderlying ll raced, endered, nd classed nteractions is none ther han lass power nd that, onsequently, he RGC perspective eeds Marxism o go beyond emantics e.g., the ndless roliferation f erms o name the onnections etween lass, gender nd race) and fulfill ts vowed heoretical and emancipatory bjectives. Keywords: Marxism, lass, gender, ace Martha E. Gimenez s Associate Professor f Sociology t the University f Colorado at Boulder. Address: Department f Sociology, Campus Bos 327, University f Colorado at Boulder Boulder CO 80309. Home page: http://csf.colorado.edu/martha/ h: 303) 492-7080, ax: 303) 492-8878, -mail: gimenez@csf.colorado.edu
This content downloaded from on Sun, 9 Feb 2014 17:28:38 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
24 Rethinking he Trilogy A especially Marxism taken or ranted in those the about process feature inequality, of of most introducing social is the science ritual theoretical ritique publications of alternatives Marx oday, and specially hose bout nequality, s the itual ritique f Marx nd Marxism n the process f introducing heoretical lternatives intended o remedy ts lleged failures. his practice ecame popular n early feminist iterature: arx and Marxists were riticized or not developing n in- depth analysis of the oppression of women, their economism, class reductionism, nd sex blind categories f analysis. Soon after t became common place to assert hat Marxism was also at fault for neglecting ace, demography, thnicity, he nvironment nd practically verything hat mattered to the new ocial movements n the West. As the movements ied, cholarship informed y hose olitical oncerns lourished; he nergy hat might ave been spent n the public rena found xpression n academic rograms e.g., women's studies, acial/ethnic tudies) nd efforts o ncrease diversity n the urriculum and the population f educational nstitutions. ublication f the ournal Race Sex & Class changed fterwards o Race, Gender Class), n 1993, ignaled he convergence f hose olitical nd ntellectual nterests nto new social science perspective hat soon acquired enormous isibility, s demonstrated y the proliferation f ournal rticles nd books with ace, gender nd class in their titles. his perspective, ut forth rimarily ut not xclusively y ocial scientists of olor, merged s a reaction o feminist heories hich eglected acial/ethnic and class differences mong women, heories f racial/ethnic nequality hich neglected exism among men of color and, predictably, s a corrective o Marxism's lleged hortcomings. or example, ean elkhir, ditor nd founder of Race, Sex & Class, prefaces n article n this opic s follows: The Failure Of Marxism To Develop Adequate Tools and A Comprehensive heory f Ethnicity, ender nd Class ssues s Undisputable Belkhir, 994:79). The ist of putative failures ould be as long s we wanted t to be but what would hat prove, eyond he fact hat Marx's nd Engels' political nd theoretical riorities differed rom hose of contemporary ocial scientists? Less biased, albeit debatable, s the conclusion hat Marxism, lthough ffering crucial and unparalleled nsights nto the operation f capitalism, needs to develop he analytical ools o nvestigate he tudy f racism, exism nd classism Belkhir, 1994: 79). To refer o class as classism s, from he standpoint f Marxist theory, a deeply misleading ormulation Eagleton, 996:57; see also Kandal, 1995:143) because lass s not imply nother deology egitimating ppression; it denotes xploitative elations etween eople mediated y heir elations o the means of production. Nevertheless, t s the ase that neither Marx nor Engels devoted he ntensity f ffort o the nvestigation f gender nd race and other issues) that would have satisfied oday's ritics. It is (and any iterature eview would upport his point) far asier to emphasize heir sins f omission nd - in ight f urrent olitical ensibilities - commission, han t s to use their heoretical nd methodological ontributions to theorize nd nvestigate hose spects f apitalist ocial formations hat oday concern s. Notable xceptions re Berberoglu 1994), who has examined he underlying lass forces eading o gender nd racial divisions n the U.S. working class, inking ender nd racial oppression o capital ccumulation, nd Kandal (1995), who has forcefully rgued for he need to avoid the racialization nd
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