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Disentangling the Complexities of Queer Theory and Intersectionality Theory: Research Paradigms and Insights for Social Justice



Queer theory and intersectionality theory have emerged as prominent paradigms guiding decisions for research design and methodology in educational research. Despite their increasing prominence and implementation in educational research, applying these paradigms can result in confusion and conflation without understanding their unique distinctions. Additionally, queer theory and intersectionality theory each carry their own legacies, predecessors, and philosophical underpinnings. Queer theory primarily focuses on disrupting the restrictions associated with binaries and identity categories, whereas intersectionality theory involves an examination of social identities (e.g., race, sexuality, gender identity) and intersections to understand power relations and inequities. With an overarching introduction to queer theory and intersectionality theory as two distinct paradigms, this chapter involves the following goals: (a) explain key aspects of queer theory and intersectionality theory as distinct paradigms; (b) identify differences between queer theory and intersectionality theory; and (c) provide recommendations for understanding paradigmatic differences in research.
59© The Author(s) 2019
K. K. Strunk, L. A. Locke (eds.), Research Methods for Social Justice and
Equity in Education,
Chapter 5
Disentangling theComplexities ofQueer
Theory andIntersectionality Theory:
Research Paradigms andInsights
forSocial Justice
ChristianD.Chan, SamSteen, LionelC.Howard, andArshadI.Ali
Abstract Queer theory and intersectionality theory have emerged as prominent
paradigms guiding decisions for research design and methodology in educational
research. Despite their increasing prominence and implementation in educational
research, applying these paradigms can result in confusion and conation without
understanding their unique distinctions. Additionally, queer theory and intersection-
ality theory each carry their own legacies, predecessors, and philosophical under-
pinnings. Queer theory primarily focuses on disrupting the restrictions associated
with binaries and identity categories, whereas intersectionality theory involves an
examination of social identities (e.g., race, sexuality, gender identity) and intersec-
tions to understand power relations and inequities. With an overarching introduction
to queer theory and intersectionality theory as two distinct paradigms, this chapter
involves the following goals: (a) explain key aspects of queer theory and intersec-
tionality theory as distinct paradigms; (b) identify differences between queer theory
and intersectionality theory; and (c) provide recommendations for understanding
paradigmatic differences in research.
Queer theory is a paradigm of research focused on the diverse experiences of sexu-
ality, gender identity, and affection; rejecting binaries in identity categories; and
using experiences of historically marginalized communities to examine injustices
C. D. Chan (*)
Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID, USA
S. Steen
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
L. C. Howard · A. I. Ali
The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
and barriers (Lugg & Murphy, 2014). In contrast, intersectionality theory is a para-
digm of research focused on inequities occurring within interpersonal experiences
and systems (e.g., workplace, school, community), connections between social
identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity), an understanding of
which identities and environments produce power, and an agenda toward social jus-
tice by identifying points to implement change (Collins & Bilge, 2016). Using a
paradigm of research (e.g., queer theory) involves a preliminary understanding of
the history, contributors, and philosophical underpinnings. A paradigm of research,
hence, relates to the researchers’ personal philosophy and values; t between
research purpose and design; and connection across the entire process of the study
(e.g., initial research question formation, tools for data collection, the process of
data analysis, writing the report, determination of ndings). The paradigm outlining
a research study is an approach emerging from theoretical underpinnings to guide
the research purpose, decisions for methodology, the lens for data analysis, and the
use of the ndings.
Queer theory and intersectionality theory are important in their attention to
barriers and inequities affecting historically marginalized communities (e.g.,
LGBTQ+ communities, people of color) by recognizing their identities (Guba &
Lincoln, 1994; Kincheloe, McLaren, Steinberg, & Monzó, 2017). For this reason,
educational research continues to build upon the work of queer theorists and inter-
sectional theorists while making current contributions. Scholars implementing
queer theory or intersectionality theory as paradigms in their research studies can
carefully consider how research impacts the communities of interest and mobiliz-
ing participants and researchers to institute change in the face of their respective
communities. Although some research in education addresses these issues, the
majority of educational research still relies on using data accessible to researchers
as truth rather than questioning the possibilities giving rise to such data (Detamore,
2010; Patel, 2016; Tuck & Wang, 2018). With a majority of research using empiri-
cal evidence to inform their practices, researchers, scholars, and practitioners can
exclude historically marginalized communities and pose barriers to scholars
attempting to produce change, action, and experiences in the lens of queer theory
or intersectionality theory.
Paradigms specically require an understanding of distinction. For example,
queer theory and intersectionality theory result in their own unique underlying prin-
ciples and tenets to align the purposes and offerings for a research study on social
justice (Bilge, 2013; Chan, Erby, & Ford, 2017; Collins, 2015; Cor & Chan, 2017;
Hancock, 2016). Nonetheless, scholars and researchers continue to grapple with the
conceptualization of the parallels between these theoretical frameworks while elu-
cidating its distinctions to increase accessibility for research methods closely
involved in social justice and equity efforts (Duong, 2012; Fotopoulou, 2012).
While unifying conceptual and empirical literature to more uidly interpret queer
theory and intersectionality theory, this chapter delves into the following goals: (a)
explain key aspects of queer theory and intersectionality theory distinctly; (b) illus-
trate differences between each paradigm as its own distinct framework; and (c) gen-
erate recommendations for use in research.
C. D. Chan et al.
Distinguishing BetweenQueer Theory andIntersectionality
Queer theory and intersectionality theory have produced conceptual frameworks and
empirical analyses wrestling with the nature of identity categories, organizations of
power, historicization, and social location. Due to their critical roots, some areas
within their approaches may seem similar. Their approaches and purposes, however,
are vastly different as a result of their legacy and theoretical underpinnings.
Queer Theory
Queer theory emerged from a long-standing history as a method to reject identity
categories, even with LGBTQ+ communities naming their identities to hold to
power (Jagose, 2009; Lugg, 2003; Lugg & Murphy, 2014). Distinctly, queer theory
as an analytic framework operates as a poststructuralist approach to disrupt binaries
(e.g., cisgender-transgender; gay-heterosexual; male-female) to ultimately question
the power instituted by categories (Few-Demo, 2014; Few-Demo, Humble, Curran,
& Lloyd, 2016; Fish & Russell, 2018; Mayo, 2017). As a result, its theoretical roots
have evolved from the work of several scholars attempting to push the boundaries
on sexuality and gender, including Foucault (1980), Rubin (1984, 2011), Butler
(1990, 2004), and Sedgwick (1990, 1993). More distinctly, predecessors contribut-
ing to the development of queer theory essentially reject identity categories as ele-
ments tied to power while noting the cultural, political, historical, and contextual
tensions inuencing the construction of identity categories (Ahmed, 2006; Butler,
1990, 2004). Thus, the queer theory approach denes queer as a verb as much as a
noun, considering the complicated, messy, and political nature of identities in asso-
ciation with the interruption of binaries (McCann, 2016; Misgav, 2016).
As queer theory continues to emerge in scholarly research focused on equity
and social justice, the approach notably operates from a generated set of underly-
ing principles core to the heart of its complexity and deconstruction of power and
identity (Love, 2017; Lugg & Murphy, 2014). Queer theory is distinct in its
approach to be disruptive of identity categories, realities highlighted by the con-
struction of identities, and structures and power relations governed by classica-
tions and identity categories (Goodrich, Luke, & Smith, 2016; Lugg & Murphy,
2014; Rumens, 2016, 2017; Jagose, 2009). For this reason, queer theory analyzes
several systemic components, including history and context, to critically examine
manifestations of power determined by binaries and identity categories (Gedro &
Mizzi, 2014; McCann, 2016).
Other than exclusively problematizing social structures, queer theory focuses on
reorienting visibility of marginalized communities through giving voice to unique
and complex forms of agency, representation, and identity (Adams & Holman
5 Disentangling theComplexities ofQueer Theory andIntersectionality Theory…
Jones, 2011; Love, 2017). Given its antiessentialist platform (Lugg, 2003; Lugg &
Murphy, 2014) as a dened approach to consider unique, individualized, and
authentic experiences divergent across communities (e.g., LGBTQ+ communities),
queer theory enacts an empowerment to reify and author narratives unique to the
variability by noting uidity, complexity, and intersections with other social identi-
ties (e.g., race, ethnicity; Rumens, 2013, 2017; Lugg & Murphy, 2014). Hence,
queer theory takes on the antiessentialist value of realizing that not all experiences
will represent the same identity or identities, especially as intersections with other
dimensions of social identity accentuate divergence (Few-Demo etal., 2016). Thus,
rejecting categories and binaries is the crux of the poststructuralist approach by real-
izing many interpretations and experiences can coexist outside of claimed identities.
Tied together with uidity, refuting binaries is a core component of queer theory
approaches through substantiating the connection between binary identity catego-
ries as a function for substantiating power (Rumens, 2013).
Intersectionality Theory
Intersectionality theory was born out of collective movements angled toward social
action, equity, equality, and human rights, particularly for communities experienc-
ing multiple forms of marginalization (Chan etal., 2017; Cor & Chan, 2017). With
implications for scholarly and educational practices, intersectionality emerged from
decades of dialogues centered on protections and rights for women of color while
resisting restrictions and disenfranchisement from feminist movements (Carbado,
Crenshaw, Mays, & Tomlinson, 2013; Cole, 2008, 2009; Grzanka, Santos, &
Moradi, 2017; Parent, DeBlaere, & Moradi, 2013). Intersectionality also rose to
prominence specically through the work of Crenshaw (1988, 1989, 1991) as a
legal analytic framework to question the protections held by antidiscrimination law.
Distinctly, Crenshaw critiqued legal scholarship for examining through the lens of a
single axis (e.g., exclusively race; exclusively gender) the possibility that a Black
woman would still face inequities. Although intersectionality has been tied closely
to the work of Crenshaw (1988, 1989, 1991) and Collins (1986, 1990, 2004), femi-
nist and intersectional scholars trace the history and genealogy of intersectionality
to multiple women of color and queer women of color using personal narratives of
multiple marginalizations as the basis for collective action (Anzaldúa, 1987;
Combahee River Collective, 1977/1995; hooks, 1981, 1984, 1989; Lorde, 1984;
Moraga & Anzaldúa, 1983). Attuned to the gravity of their personal experiences
with marginalization, predecessors of intersectionality cited the problematic erasure
of women of color in feminist movements (Collins, 1986; Crenshaw, 1989, 1991)
while subversively interrupting the boundaries on choosing single categories of
identity to convey their existence (Anzaldúa, 1987; Lorde, 1984; Moraga &
Anzaldúa, 1983). Hence, the evolution of intersectionality carries prominent roots
in feminism and, more distinctly, Black feminism (Bilge, 2013; Carbado etal.,
2013; Cho, 2013; Cho, Crenshaw, & McCall, 2013).
C. D. Chan et al.
Notably, intersectionality considers the unique lived experiences inherent in
multiple dimensions of social identity (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual-
ity, affection, size, regional identity, spirituality, ability status, generational status,
social class) through realizing diversity as a factor within and between identity cat-
egories (Bowleg, 2008, 2012; Chan, 2017; Chan et al., 2017, 2018; Cole, 2008,
2009; Corlett & Mavin, 2014; McCall, 2005). Intersectionality institutes an approach
dedicated to the experiences of multiply-marginalized individuals and communities
rendered invisible by social structures (e.g., environments, communities, policies,
advocacy, and human rights movements; Bilge, 2013; Bowleg, 2013; Carastathis,
2016; Cor & Chan, 2017; Crenshaw, 1989, 1991). Intersectional approaches also
realize the phenomenon of carrying both privilege and oppression simultaneously
(Smooth, 2013) as an outcome of complexities and linkages among social identities
(Collins & Bilge, 2016). This particular principle accentuates the complex, unique
realities illustrated through multiple overlapping forms of oppression (Cho, 2013;
Shields, 2008; Warner, Settles, & Shields, 2016). Connecting immensely with social
identities, intersectionality operates with the assumption that social identities are
not necessarily mutually exclusive entities, but rather, linkages serve as the analyti-
cal lens for understanding inequities and opportunities for social justice (Carastathis,
2016; Corlett & Mavin, 2014; Gopaldas, 2013). Analyses formed with a lens of
intersectionality continue to examine how such linkages remain connected to politi-
cal, contextual, and historical forces sustaining roots of subordination and stratica-
tion of power (i.e., specic communities having privilege and power over other
groups; Bowleg, 2012; Bowleg & Bauer, 2016; Love, 2017; Smooth, 2013).
The promise of intersectionality, however, does not exclusively rely on a conceptu-
alization of multiple identities (Moradi & Grzanka, 2017). Intersectionality, in particu-
lar, does not exist without an interrogation of power and the structures that sustain
inequities (Bowleg, 2017; Bowleg & Bauer, 2016; Collins & Bilge, 2016). Consequently,
intersectionality critically analyzes the personal experiences of marginalization to
reect relationships with social structures and levels of power responsible for the his-
torical reproduction of subordination (Collins, 1986, 2004). The philosophy of intersec-
tionality is interrogative in this manner to problematize inequitable systems of power,
but more so to reform systems for the liberation of multiply-marginalized communities
(Chan, 2017; Chan etal., 2017; Cho etal., 2013). Thus, approaches grounded in inter-
sectionality amplify possibilities and sites of change to enact a social justice agenda and
to determine systemic change (Collins & Bilge, 2016; Corlett & Mavin, 2014).
Applications forEducational Research onSocial Justice
With the explication of both intersectionality and queer theory as their own distinct
paradigms, it is ostensibly important for researchers to understand the distinctions
between the two paradigms to ultimately guide their decisions for a research study
and research design. They are separate and distinct according to their own underlying
5 Disentangling theComplexities ofQueer Theory andIntersectionality Theory…
principles and histories. The following recommendations provide additional guide-
lines to understand the comparison and to ascertain a foundation of decisional pro-
cesses and critical thinking in social justice and equity research.
History and principles. A researcher using queer theory would likely need to
examine the work of predecessors, such as Foucault (1980), Butler (1990, 2004),
Sedgwick (1990, 1993), and Rubin (1984, 2011). In contrast, researchers using
intersectionality would likely reference the works of Crenshaw (1988, 1989, 1991),
Anzaldúa (1987), Collins (1986, 1990, 2015), Lorde (1984), hooks (1981, 1984,
1989), and Moraga and Anzaldúa (1983). Researchers using queer theory would
likely investigate research questions associated with critiques intended to disrupt
binaries and identity categories. In this scope, queer theory operates with a post-
structural lens intended to give voice to multiple perspectives and meanings disrupt-
ing classications of binaries and identity categories (Lugg, 2003). Thus, researchers
using queer theory assume that identity categories need to be deconstructed as mis-
guided illusory social constructions of power rather than identity markers associat-
ing lived experiences with specic communities. To understand power and
complexity of social identities (Collins & Bilge, 2016), researchers using intersec-
tionality, in contrast, would likely highlight linkages between social identities or
linkages between forms of oppression (e.g., racism, genderism, heterosexism) as
the crux of their research questions (Bowleg & Bauer, 2016; Bowleg, 2013, 2017;
Warner & Shields, 2013). Thus, intersectionality scholars would still rely on the
realities and experiences associated with specic identities by assuming that identi-
ties and intersections produce actual realities of marginalization.
The purpose of queer theory would involve a critique of identity categories and
binaries, whereas intersectionality theory would involve identity categories to locate
power, relationships, and complexity. The outcome of a study using queer theory
would be a disruption of binaries and identity categories. The outcome of intersec-
tionality theory carries implications for a systematic agenda toward social action,
which highlights key aspects from the research study about action steps to change
an inequitable system. This outcome from an intersectionality study would also
likely focus on the realization of gaps located as a result of multiple marginaliza-
tions. These contrasting features of queer theory and intersectionality theory are
important to consider, especially with the type of product offered as a result of the
research contribution. Although research contributions using queer theory would
involve a critique and disruption of identity categories, research using intersection-
ality theory would likely involve recommendations for action based on understand-
ing intersecting forms of oppression.
Distinctions of power. Queer theory and intersectionality theory involve their own
distinct relationships and assumptions of power. For intersectionality scholars, power
is centered specically in these intersections to illustrate visibility and to determine
points to capitalize on social action. When scholars and researchers view through the
lens of intersectionality, they examine realities attached to specic social identities
(e.g., race, gender, sexuality), forms of oppression (e.g., racism, genderism, hetero-
sexism), and their intersections lead to an understanding of which communities carry
power and where inequities of power might exist (Bowleg, 2017).
C. D. Chan et al.
Queer theory conversely involves a disruption of the boundaries held in identity
categories and of binaries (Lugg, 2003; Plummer, 2011). Power is indicative of the
boundaries associated with identity categories. Queer theory especially provides an
assumption that power was an illusory social construction shown in identity catego-
ries and binaries. Thus, queer theory requires its poststructural lens to critique and
disrupt binaries and identity categories as problematic social constructions.
Reexive thinking and reexivity. Reexivity statements and reexive thinking
provide a platform to consider how the researchers inform the production of a
research study and analysis in education (Plummer, 2011). The critical notions
embedded in intersectionality theory and queer theory form the ideology that
research, the phenomena of interest, and analyses are not objective processes
(Crotty, 1998). Thus, reexivity statements garner interrogative thinking that keeps
researchers accountable to participants and the purpose of a research study.
Nonetheless, they are helpful to illustrate researchers’ intentionality with decisions
in the study. Illustrating complexity and in-depth thinking through interrogating
self, social location, and, hence, social conditions, reexivity is not intended to dis-
tance researchers from their participants, but rather, reexivity functions as an
approach to remain conscious of researcher-participant relationships, inequities,
and interactions of power and privilege (Fine et al., 2003). To understand reexivity,
researchers can, for instance, participate in journaling to note their experiences,
emotions, and perspectives throughout the process of a study. As an additional
example to address reexive thinking, researchers can involve periodic meetings
throughout a research study with communities of two to three other scholars to dis-
cuss their process, interpretations of data, and approaches within a research study.
Researchers should note the different approaches of reexivity unique to queer
theory and intersectionality theory. Queer theory and intersectionality theory can dif-
fer in their perspectives toward reexivity. Intersectionality theory may prioritize the
researchers’ privilege, oppression, and power through their own social identities and
intersections interacting with entities and individuals in their research. Queer theory
may inuence the approach toward reexivity by informing researchers on how they
are thinking within the forms of identity categories and binaries. To involve queer
theory in reexivity, researchers can likely think about how their own personal reec-
tions and assumptions may reinforce specic binaries or interpretations in the lens of
identity categories. Similarly, researchers can infuse this type of reexivity in a
research study by questioning how their interpretations of data may be consistent with
reinforcing classications of binaries and identity categories. Using the lens of queer
theory, researchers can use reexivity to aim more closely to the goal of disrupting
binaries and identities as xed, associated realities rather than social constructions.
Researchers can note the differences between queer theory and intersectionality
theory as their own unique, distinct paradigms. Queer theory and intersectionality
theory involve their own unique underlying principles ultimately forming decisions
5 Disentangling theComplexities ofQueer Theory andIntersectionality Theory…
for a research study. Although the evolution of empirical and conceptual research
grounded in analytic frameworks of intersectionality theory and queer theory con-
tinues to grow exponentially, the provided list of recommended readings captures
major luminaries augmenting movements and implementation grounded in both
intersectionality theory and queer theory. Similarly, researchers attempting to com-
plicate these frameworks should also examine a variety of recent theoretical frame-
works generated by the substantiation of intersectionality and queer theory, such as
queer of color critique (see Brockenbrough, 2015; McCready, 2013).
Recommended Readings
Ahmed, S. (2006). Queer phenomenology: Orientations, objects, others. Durham,
NC: Duke University Press.
This book is useful for deconstructing lived experience inuenced by contextual
factors within phenomenological approaches and methods rather than associating
with realities associated with identities.
Browne, K., & Nash, C. J. (Eds.). (2010). Queer methods and methodologies:
Intersecting queer theories and social science research. Abingdon, UK: Ashgate
This book provides multiple perspectives reecting the implementation of queer
theory in research. Researchers may nd the text useful to assist with conceptual-
izing queer methods in their research design.
Collins, P.H., & Bilge, S. (2016). Intersectionality. Malden, MA: Polity Press.
This book offers an accessible description of principles, histories, and philosophies
used to understand intersectionality. The text involves practices and movements
associated with intersectionality to inform the conceptualization of intersectionality
in practice, scholarship, and research.
Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black
feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist
politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989(1), 139–167.
This article is a seminal contribution by Crenshaw as a major contributor to inter-
sectionality scholarship. Researchers can use this article to inform historical context
surrounding approaches involved in intersectionality.
Grzanka, P.R. (Ed.). (2014). Intersectionality: A foundations and frontiers reader
(1st ed.). NewYork, NY: Westview Press.
This book provides several different viewpoints on intersectionality as a paradigm.
The text involves discussions surrounding philosophical underpinnings and imple-
mentation for specic research methods.
C. D. Chan et al.
Hancock, A.-M. (2016). Intersectionality: An intellectual history. NewYork, NY:
Oxford University Press.
This book contextualizes the history of intersectionality by showcasing an under-
standing of its principles and key forerunners.
Lugg, C.A., & Murphy, J.P. (2014). Thinking whimsically: Queering the study of
educational policy-making and politics. International Journal of Qualitative
Studies in Education, 27(9), 1183–1204.
This journal article reects an application of queer theory, including underlying
principles, to educational policy. Researchers might nd the article useful for their
understanding and foundation of principles informing the use of queer theory.
Adams, T.E., & Holman Jones, S. (2011). Telling stories: Reexivity, queer theory, and auto-
ethnography. Cultural Studies Critical Methodologies, 11(2), 108–116. https://doi.
Ahmed, S. (2006). Queer phenomenology: Orientations, objects, others. Durham, NC: Duke
University Press.
Anzaldúa, G. (1987). Borderlands/la Frontera. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books.
Bilge, S. (2013). Intersectionality undone: Saving intersectionality from feminist intersectionality
studies. Du Bois Review, 10(2), 405–424.
Bowleg, L. (2008). When black + lesbian + woman black lesbian woman: The methodologi-
cal challenges of qualitative and quantitative intersectionality research. Sex Roles, 59(5–6),
Bowleg, L. (2012). The problem with the phrase women and minorities: Intersectionality—An
important theoretical framework for public health. American Journal of Public Health, 102(7),
Bowleg, L. (2013). “Once you’ve blended the cake, you can’t take the parts back to the main
ingredients”: Black gay and bisexual men’s descriptions and experiences of intersectionality.
Sex Roles, 68(11–12), 754–767.
Bowleg, L. (2017). Towards a critical health equity research stance: Why epistemology and meth-
odology matter more than qualitative methods. Health Education & Behavior, 44(5), 677–684.
Bowleg, L., & Bauer, G. (2016). Invited reection: Quantifying intersectionality. Psychology of
Women Quarterly, 40(3), 337–341.
Brockenbrough, E. (2015). Queer of color agency in educational contexts: Analytic frameworks
from a queer of color critique. Educational Studies, 51(1), 28–44.
Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity. NewYork, NY:
Butler, J. (2004). Undoing gender. NewYork, NY: Routledge.
Carastathis, A. (2016). Intersectionality: Origins, contestations, horizons. Lincoln, NE: University
of Nebraska Press.
Carbado, D.W., Crenshaw, K.W., Mays, V.M., & Tomlinson, B. (2013). Intersectionality. Du Bois
Review, 10(2), 303–312.
5 Disentangling theComplexities ofQueer Theory andIntersectionality Theory…
Chan, C. D. (2017). A critical analysis of systemic inuences on spiritual development for
LGBTQ+ youth. Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, 3(3), 146–163.
Chan, C.D., Erby, A.N., & Ford, D.J. (2017). Intersectionality in practice: Moving a social justice
paradigm to action in higher education. In J.M. Johnson & G.C. Javier (Eds.), Queer people of
color in higher education (pp.9–29). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Chan, C.D., Cor, D.N., & Band, M.P. (2018). Privilege and oppression in counselor education
and supervision: An intersectionality framework. The Journal of Multicultural Counseling and
Development, 46(1), 58–73.
Cho, S. (2013). Post-intersectionality: The curious reception of intersectionality in legal scholar-
ship. Du Bois Review, 10(2), 385–404.
Cho, S., Crenshaw, K.W., & McCall, L. (2013). Toward a eld of intersectionality studies: Theory,
applications, and praxis. Signs, 38(4), 785–810.
Cole, E.R. (2008). Coalitions as a model for intersectionality: From practice to theory. Sex Roles,
59(5–6), 443–453.
Cole, E.R. (2009). Intersectionality and research in psychology. American Psychologist, 64(3),
Collins, P. H. (1986). Learning from the outsider within: The sociological signicance of black
feminist thought. Social Problems, 33(6), S14–S32.
Collins, P. H. (1990). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness and the politics of
empowerment. NewYork, NY and London: Routledge.
Collins, P. H. (2004). Learning from the outsider within: The sociological signicance of black
feminist thought. In S.Harding (Ed.), The feminist standpoint theory reader (pp.103–126).
NewYork, NY: Routledge.
Collins, P.H. (2015). Intersectionality’s denitional dilemmas. Annual Review of Sociology, 41(1),
Collins, P.H., & Bilge, S. (2016). Intersectionality. Malden, MA: Polity Press.
Combahee River Collective. (1995). Combahee River Collective statement. In B.Guy-Sheftall
(Ed.), Words of re: An anthology of African American feminist thought (pp. 232–240).
NewYork, NY: New Press.
Cor, D.N., & Chan, C. D. (2017). Intersectionality feminism and LGBTIQQA+ psychology:
Understanding our present by exploring our past. In R.Ruth & E.Santacruz (Eds.), LGBT
psychology and mental health: Emerging research and advances (pp.109–132). Santa Barbara,
CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.
Corlett, S., & Mavin, S. (2014). Intersectionality, identity and identity work. Gender in
Management, 29(5), 258–276.
Crenshaw, K. (1988). Race, reform, and retrenchment: Transformation and legitimation in antidis-
crimination law. Harvard Law Review, 101(7), 1331–1387. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.
Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique
of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. University of Chicago
Legal Forum, 1989(1), 139–167.
Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against
women of color. Stanford Law Review, 43(6), 1241–1299.
Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: Meaning and perspective in the research
process. St. Leonards: Allan & Unwin.
Detamore, M. (2010). Queer(y)ing the ethics of research methods: Toward a politics of intimacy in
researcher/researched relations. In K.Browne & C.J. Nash (Eds.), Queer methods and meth-
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... Liberation for oppressed individuals cannot occur without the consideration of societal systems and norms privileging certain groups over others. Through combining both intersectionality and queer theory, the researcher analyzed (1) the various realities that exist for multiply marginalized individuals (Chan et al., 2019;Crenshaw, 1991) and ...
... While both theories are fundamentally different in their theoretical assumptions, each provides an opportunity to bring attention to and critique the various ways marginalized people experience oppression. Intersectionality allowed for an explanation of the systemic nature of privilege and oppression while highlighting the experiences of multiply marginalized individuals (Chan et al., 2019;Collins, 2015;Crenshaw, 1991). In addition, queer theory explained the oppression held in binary categories and systems (Britzman, 1995;Chan et al., 2019;Meyer, 2007). ...
... Intersectionality allowed for an explanation of the systemic nature of privilege and oppression while highlighting the experiences of multiply marginalized individuals (Chan et al., 2019;Collins, 2015;Crenshaw, 1991). In addition, queer theory explained the oppression held in binary categories and systems (Britzman, 1995;Chan et al., 2019;Meyer, 2007). ...
... Queer criticism, an anti-disciplinary field of investigation that 'takes on varied shapes, risks, ambitions, and ambivalences in various contexts ' (Berlant and Warner, 1995: 344), emerged from a desire for a different form of engagement with operations of power and oppression, especially as they relate to questions of sex, gender, sexuality, family and identity (Foucault, 1980;Rubin, 1984;Butler, 1990;Sedgwick, 1990). Queer criticism is distinctly concerned with the examination and deconstruction of fixed binaries and identity categories (see Chan et al., 2019), and the interrogation and disruption of heteronormativity, a term coined by Warner (1991) to describe a web of norms that are made to seem natural, including heterosexuality, reproduction and the nuclear family. ...
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Drawing from 108 qualitative interviews with 38 participants from an ethnographic study investigating older adults' experiences of inclusion and exclusion in two increasingly socio-economically diverse neighbourhoods, this paper employs a queer approach to identify how older adults construct and narrate socio-cultural change in the neighbourhood, as well as complicate simplistic binary understandings of older adults invoked in ageing-in-place literature. Drawing on neoliberal, heteronormative and racialised discourses, older adult participants engaged in practices of ‘Othering’ to narrate who did and did not belong in the neighbourhood. Participants referenced three primary non-residents when narrating change in their neighbourhoods: the homeless resident, the temporary resident and the racialised resident. Participants generally ‘Othered’ these three types of ‘residents’ as non-(re)productive, i.e. as not contributing to the social fabric of the neighbourhood in normatively valued ways. However, even as participants engaged in practices of ‘Othering’, a form of exercising power, it was evident that some ‘Othered’ figures disproportionately affected older adults' sense of belonging to their neighbourhoods. We found that shifting socio-cultural dynamics related to class, race and age, especially as they relate to the temporary resident, posed the biggest challenges to older adults' feelings of belonging, and relationships, to place. Our findings indicate that an inundation of moneyed people and unconventional living arrangements can inadvertently threaten older adults' social spaces and networks, as well as further bound their possibilities for meeting the neoliberal and heteronormative expectations of ‘successful ageing’ by working against older adults' continued social participation and connectedness. In turn, this paper considers the ways in which older adults are exclusionary and excluded subjects.
... As previously noted, poststructuralism firmly rejects categorical or essentialist thinking. Intersectionality, on the other hand, treats categories of difference as sites around which power operates and as important areas of analysis (Chan et al., 2019). However, by examining how categories are regarded within intersectional literature, a more nuanced understanding of the concept emerges. ...
The theoretical perspectives of intersectionality and poststructuralism have contributed meaningfully to advancing issues of social injustice within the realm of women's health research. However, the question of whether the two approaches are epistemologically commensurate has been at the heart of a polarized debate within third- and fourth-wave feminist literature in recent years. In this paper, we draw on the extant literature to explore existing dilemmas within this debate and critically reflect on points of epistemological tension and congruence between the two perspectives. It will be demonstrated that intersectionality and poststructuralism, especially feminist poststructuralism, represent concordant theoretical perspectives and a synthesized theoretical framework for application in qualitative research into women's health will be proposed. We argue that an intersectional feminist poststructuralist framework contributes to a deepened analysis of women's disparate healthcare experiences, and the social mechanisms, power relations, and discourses that mediate these experiences, while offering avenues for advocacy and political praxis on a multitude of levels.
... The neuroqueer exposes the intersectionality of lived experience, as rigidly defined identity categories reinforce existing power structures (Butler, 1990;Chan et al., 2019;Grzanka, 2019). ...
... The term "intersectionality" was coined in 1989 by American critical legal race scholar Kimberlé Williams , but the central ideas of intersectionality have long historic roots within and beyond the United States. Black activists and feminists, as well as Latina, post-colonial, queer, and Indigenous scholars have all produced work that reveals the complex factors and processes that shape human lives (Bunjun, 2010;Chan et al., 2019;Collins, 1990;Collins & Bilge, 2016;Grzanka & Grzanka, 2018;Hancock, 2016;Roth, 2018;Valdes, 1997;Van Herk et al., 2011). ...
The promotion of sex- and gender-based analyses (SGBA) is ongoing in health outcomes research. However, challenges exist in the research process with the continuous use of sex and gender concepts interchangeably. There has been increased confusion in the contribution of both sex and gender to population health and health outcomes, leading to missed opportunities for the development of appropriate population health policies and interventions. A review of existing but limited data regarding SGBA was conducted. A case study demonstrating how sex-based analysis has been used in a national HIV survey to inform the response and policy is utilized. The chapter highlights that SGBA is largely missing in research, practice, and policymaking. It is a progressive development in population health as not only is it inclusive of the individuals affected or involved but also is important in addressing the gaps in research, literature, policy, and data. In response to gender inequalities in disease prevention and health promotion, a multi-sectoral policy approach is required. Joint policy commitment is required whereby the establishment of objectives related to gender equity in health, the identification of determinants, and strategic development of contributing determinants affecting health equity, documentation, and dissemination of efficacious gender-sensitive policy that facilitates cross-country and regional learning is essential.
Crafted as “dessert,” this chapter summarises the “dinner party” conversation that has served as a response to the social and ecological problems of our times, with a particular focus on men, masculinities, and Earth. Here, we note the importance of a collaborative approach to developments in this academic field and its pluralised praxes. We revisit the three principle motivators for hosting this conversation; firstly, to expand the bounds of collaborations on masculinities and environmental issues; secondly, to provide a constructive response to recent historical developments on both social and environmental fronts; thirdly, to summarise the collaborative and complementary perspectives (and their accompanying knowledges) that can be considered the latest developments in ecological masculinities. We also suggest six paths forwards for future research and praxes noting the importance of: tackling alarming contemporary global trends frontally; addressing these problems personally, politically, and glocally; recognising intersectional analyses that stretch our view beyond Global Northern constructs; ensuring that those who are traditionally marginalised are heard, take leadership, are backed to do so, and are welcomed to hold the ecological masculinities discourse accountable, giving particular attention to queer ecologies; encouraging fresh research on masculine ecologisation; supporting Earth Rights. These six forward-facing themes represent areas of current and future development in ecological masculinities that are (at the time of this writing) the most influential in shaping the growth and development of this conversation.
The growing recognition that gender inequalities shape health inequities is contributing to the development and strengthening of gender transformative approaches (GTA) in public health. Many of these approaches attempt to integrate considerations of intersectionality, including sex and gender-based analysis plus (SGBA+) in the Canadian context. The inclusion of intersectionality within current GTAs represents progress in advancing gender equality and health equity; however, they do not yet reflect the true potential of intersectionality to transform public health. Arguably, the interplay of the full range of complex factors and influencing forces and structures of power that underpin health inequities is not adequately accounted for. Doing this requires moving beyond a primal focus on sex and gender (and most often women) as well as binary and outdated notions of gender. It requires understanding inequities as not being restricted to gender but as inseparable from other factors such as class, race/ethnicity, sexuality, immigration status, geography, and ability – without any presumption of ranking. As such, what is needed is a more robust intersectionality-informed analysis and concrete action to understand experiences of health inequities, who is at disproportionate risk, the differences between groups of people at disproportionate risk, and how appropriate population health responses can be crafted and respond to social groups most at risk. Only then can the ultimate goal of GTA – to transform power inequities – be fully realized.
Queering questions that which is normative. In this article, we discuss how, for the study of queer families, queering methodologies could reclaim traditional research methods that reflect historically dominant or privileged paradigms. We suggest that queer perspectives may be used to adapt mainstream (i.e., dominant, positivist, empirical) methods, creating possibilities for new, diverse understandings of queer families. We start with comments on the development and current standing of queer family research. We then reflect on several key conceptual and methodological tensions as they apply to queer family studies: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals ↔ queer families, between-group ↔ within-group, and quantitative ↔ qualitative. In conclusion, we discuss how these methodological considerations provide researchers opportunities to conduct research not only about but for queer families. Such research may reflect the diversity of queer families and challenge the normativities and systems of privilege that constrain them.
In his discussion of power, Foucault establishes a new, interpretation that challenges the typical view of power as a possession held by certain people and groups in a society. Foucault argues that it is the set of force relations that constitute a perpetual struggle among people as well as the strategies that people employ as they attempt to control the behavior of others. This differs from previous views of power in that it sees power as existing everywhere and deriving from everywhere. No person holds power. Rather, power is expressed in relationships between people. Related to this view is Foucault's argument that resistance is inextricably linked with power and also exists everywhere. No single point of power or resistance can be found. Each point at where power is exercised also reveals a point of resistance. Power is also intimately connected with discourse because discourse becomes a mechanism of power. Not only is discourse both an instrument and an effect of power, but discourse can serve both to liberate and oppress.