Group: Rebecca Pape, Evelien De Vos, Maike Hohmann and Ronja Nordlin

Intersectionality is not a modern phenomenon even if the definition wasn’t coined until the 1980’s by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. Identities change depending on time and situation. No one is defined by only one thing and that is an important aspect to take into account in social sciences and particularly when it comes to social justice issues. No matter which specific topic is viewed it is important to acknowledge the influence that intersectionality brings to the issue.

In her lecture 3.10.2017 Ann Phoenix brought up the so called big three when it comes to intersectional identities: class, race and gender. Obviously these aren’t the only categories but by far those that are most often used in discussions about intersectionality. It is rarely allowed within Education and Social Sciences to generalize. But here it cannot be denied that everybody has intersecting social identities. That is why it is important to have an intersectional approach to research about social justice in education. Phoenix pointed that there are differences in possibilities that are situational. The patterns in attainment between ethnic groups differentiate across countries. For example in some cases ethnic minority children with a working class background do better than white children with the same family background.

It is not possible to exclude one part of the complexity that is one’s identity. All things operate simultaneously and have varied amounts of power depending on both the place and the time. We should not think of the categories of identity separately. As Crenshaw states in the video below that the concept of intersectionality can help us find the failures in social justice, repair them and to create opportunities for the kind of a world that we want to build.


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