When compared with other industrialized nations, the United States has an inordinately high number of individuals incarcerated in jails and prisons. Even outside the physical confines of these structures, the prison system represents a pervasive mechanism of strict social control affecting all who engage with it. Ideological conceptions of the constructs of crime, race, class and gender have all played important roles in shaping this social institution and those subject to it. Although the problematic aspects of mass incarceration have begun to be acknowledged by the public, economic incentives inherent to a capitalistic society have contributed to the preservation of the prison-industrial complex. Mass incarceration is currently a very pressing issue for American criminologists. A theoretical perspective adequately addressing the roots of this problem would not only have to posit multiple causes, but would also have to attempt to explain any interactions between them. The intersectionality perspective could potentially be employed to accomplish this difficult task. As a convergence of feminist, class and critical race literature, intersectionality seeks to examine the emergent and interacting relationships between differing social identities as these are shaped by wider social forces. Its primary focus revolves around mapping out the "intersections" of race, class and gender while determining how these variables interact to create and reproduce institutional and social oppression. In addition to its potential explanatory value, intersectionality also embodies an ideology that provides for transformation of existing structures and practices. It is believed that the presence of this ideological stance gives the perspective the potential to suggest measures of positive social change. In this thesis, the intersectionality perspective will be reviewed in terms of its logical adequacy as an explanation for mass incarceration. In order to conduct this analysis, the concepts of race, class, gender and crime will be examined separately, mostly through the philosophical lens of affirmative postmodernism. From there, intersectionality's posited interactions between these constructs will be assessed. A thorough analysis of this perspective's theoretical viability could potentially yield a greater understanding of how to enact policies in order to mitigate social problems associated with mass incarceration, not least mass incarceration itself.