Doing justice to intersectionality in research
Intersectionality involves the study of the ways that race, gender, disability, sexuality, class, age, and other social categories are mutually shaped and interrelated through forces such as colonialism, neoliberalism, geopolitics, and cultural configurations to produce shifting relations of power and oppression. The concept does not always offer a clear set of tools for conducting social research. Instead, it offers varied strands of thought, pointing to different methodologies and methods for doing intersectional research. In this article, we trace the genealogy of intersectionality as theory and methodology to identify challenges in translating the concept into research methods, and we review debates about what we identify as three “critical movements” in the intersectionality literature, comprising contestations regarding the theory’s aims, scope, and axioms, in scholarship and research. Finally, we consider how these critical movements can offer researchers some guiding ethical principles for doing intersectionality justice in social research.