A short guide to intersectionality.
“(How) can we thoughtfully, meaningfully, and appropriately integrate more intersectional frameworks to underpin, drive, and challenge public health research methods?”
What is Intersectionality?
First coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, intersectionality is a term that encompasses and explains the interlocking matrixes of a person’s identity. Crenshaw, however, was not the first person to tackle the complexities of intersectional identity. Intersectional thinking has been around around for hundreds of years. Sojourner Truth, famously introduced this idea in her speech delivered at the Akron Women’s Right Conference of 1863. Intersectionality, in short, is a framework that helps to describe and analyze social categorization by acknowledging that each category is deeply interlocked with all the others. Intersectionality is generally spoken about in reference to three distinct forms: social, political, and representation.
Readings: Getting Started
Cho, Sumi, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and Leslie McCall. “Toward a field of intersectionality studies: Theory, applications, and praxis.” Signs: Journal of women in culture and society 38, no. 4 (2013): 785-810.
Crenshaw, Kimberlé W. On intersectionality: Essential writings. The New Press, 2017.
Crenshaw, Kimberlé. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color.” Stanford Law Review 43 (1989): 1241.
Readings: Health (in)Equity
Persmark, Anna, Maria Wemrell, Clare R. Evans, S. V. Subramanian, George Leckie, and Juan Merlo. “Intersectional inequalities and the US opioid crisis: challenging dominant narratives and revealing heterogeneities.” Critical Public Health (2019): 1-17.
Mandelbaum, Jennifer. “Advancing health equity by integrating intersectionality into epidemiological research: applications and challenges.” J Epidemiol Community Health (2020).
Readings: Research Methods
Agénor, Madina. “Future Directions for Incorporating Intersectionality Into Quantitative Population Health Research.” American Journal of Public Health 110, no. 6 (2020): 803-806.
Bauer GR & Scheim AI. Methods for analytic intercategorical intersectionality in quantitative research- Discrimination as a mediator of health inequalities. Soc Sci Med. 2019. 226. 236-245. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.12.015
Evans, Clare R. “Modeling the intersectionality of processes in the social production of health inequalities.” Social Science & Medicine 226 (2019): 249-253.
Green, Mark A., Clare R. Evans, and Subu V. Subramanian. “Can intersectionality theory enrich population health research?” (2017).