Accommodating Multifaceted Victimisation in Contemporary British Literature: An Intersectional Framework

Bağlama S. H.

15th International IDEA Conference: Studies in English, Hatay, Turkey, 11 - 13 May 2022

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Hatay
  • Country: Turkey
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Despite the structural transformation of capitalism after the second half of the twentieth century, class-based theories seem to suggest a still-relevant explanation of poverty, subordination, and oppression in postmodern capitalism because the destructiveness of capitalism has not changed, and the exploitation of labour has increasingly continued in different forms for wage-earners. However, the tendency of class-based theories to intervene in identity-related issues as secondary to the concept of class overlooks recent sociocultural mutations; therefore, class-based theories appear to be unable to comprehend the entirety of racism, otherisation, and cultural and racial debasement. This does not mean that identity-based theories, which prioritise recognition, tolerance, respect, coexistence and multiculturalism, can entirely examine and address injustice and subjugation since identity-based theories arguably ignore material conditions reproducing marginalisation. In this context, a new concept that would reconcile both class- and identity-centred arguments should be developed in order to articulate ‘each’ form of victimisation within a broader framework, and this intersectional model, which argues that class politics and identity politics should not be decoupled from each other, would strategically help build a new progressive alternative for the prevention and elimination of poverty, deprivation and nonrecognition. Considering these arguments, this study will attempt to investigate whether such an intersectional model might be a theoretically functional instrument in order to understand the complexity of the multifaceted victimisation of fictional characters sitting at the intersection of two or more categories, such as class, race, gender, nationality, and sexuality, through a close reading of different contemporary British novels.