Campus Reform | Researcher uses ‘intersectionality’ to blast a campus Christian organization in published article

Researcher uses ‘intersectionality’ to blast a campus Christian organization in published article

The USC doctoral student argued that the organization was 'functioning as a system of power' for its 'White and Asian students'

The article claimed that the Christian group is unprepared to handle diversity among its members

Mabel Sanchez — a doctoral student at the University of Southern California’s Center for Education, Identity and Social Justice — wrote a study entitled “Negotiating Intersectional Identities in a Christian Student Organization.” 

The student used "intersectionality" and ethnography to examine how a chapter of Christian Students Fellowship at a California university props up "symbolic boundaries." 

Sanchez argued that the “color-blind” approach taken by the group “forced students to negotiate their multiple identities to determine whether investing in the community at the expense of their racial or cultural identities was worthwhile.”

Sanchez therefore concluded that the organization, “functioning as a system of power, gave power and privilege to White and Asian students who had the ‘common’ experience while further marginalizing Latinx, Black, and queer students.”

[Related: Christian university absolutely shreds claim that Christianity is a 'platform for white supremacy' in scathing rebuke] 

Sanchez also characterized the mindset of the chapter's members and leaders. 

"The findings suggest that although the organization expressed intentions of welcoming diverse Christian students, they were unaware and unequipped to interact with diverse students," Sanchez stated in her abstract. 

Sanchez did interview several disgruntled students about the group’s culture. For instance, one student alleged that two Asian female Bible study leaders came to Black Bible Study meetings to “overlook us” and ensure that it remained within the “CSF grip.”

She also warned that Christian Students Fellowship and its members “may continue to uphold norms of whiteness and oppression for historically marginalized students within higher education.”

Campus Reform reached out to the Christian Students Fellowship and Sanchez for comment, but did not receive a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ajmunguia23