Intersectionality in Resistance Against Race, Ethnicity, Class and Gender Inequality Systems

Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Elahe NEZHADHOSSEIN, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
The theories of hegemony by Gramsci, Laclau and Moufe are more focused on the economic outcomes of cultural hegemonies, as well as Smith and Hall that are, respectively, more focused on gender and racial aspects of cultural hegemony and discourses. But an analytical focus on the intersection between different inequality systems and the intersectional aspect of counter-hegemonies’ outcomes seems to be neglected. While hegemony and counter-hegemony are necessary for analyzing how people can challenge power and inequality systems, they fail to specifically discuss all the international and intersectional effects of social movements against hegemonic systems of inequalities. Drawing on theories of hegemony and discourse in media and networks of power and social movements, I explore how the discourses, including texts, language, and images in the US and Canada’s mass media, have been affected or challenged/changed through women’s activities in Iran, and how the social movement participants can be actively integrated into networks of power to challenge intersectional inequalities such as hegemony and discourses of race, class, gender or ethnicity-based inequalities in the media. My qualitative research study uses qualitative content analysis of four most circulated national newspapers as well as critical discourse analysis to explore the changes in Iranian women’s representations in the media in the US and Canada. The data shows that participation of women in social movements attracts the attention of the mass media and challenges their misrepresentation. Resistance against one inequality system inside a country can challenge other inequality systems in local, national and also international level. This research provides a new vision of the intersectional counter-hegemonic process of social movements, how various inequality systems can be challenged unintendedly and internationally in different countries and shed light on intersectional effects of social movements, and the creation of intersectional counter-hegemonies against intersectional inequality systems.