Intersectionality as Methodology: Potentials and Challenges

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 12:00am
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Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 12:00am


Prof. Allaine Cerwonka, Department of Gender Studies, CEU, Hungary


Dr. Eniko Magyari-Vincze, Center for Gender Studies, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Raluca Maria Popa, PhD candidate in Comparative Gender Studies; Research Fellow, Center for Policy Studies, CEU, Hungary

Prof. Susan Zimmermann, Department of Gender Studies, CEU, Hungary

The concept of intersectionality emerged in theory, research, policy advocacy, and social justice activism, at the global level, the EU level and in numerous local contexts. It has been used by scholars in different disciplines - anthropology, comparative policy studies, cultural studies, gender studies, history, legal studies, political science, or sociology - and by diverse activist groups. This fascination with intersectionality led to a truly remarkable and growing academic production on the topic. For the most part, scholarly analyses of intersectionality dealt with structural intersectionality that is the ways in which multiple, intersectional inequalities structure social relations and individual experiences. Comparatively less effort was devoted to the issue of doing research with the concept of intersectionality, and even less to its application for political and policy strategies.

The discussion focused on the potentials and difficulties of using intersectionality as a methodology for research and policy analysis. The talk ranged from theoretical engagements that reflected on epistemological concerns to very practical dilemmas that researchers and policy analysts faced when trying to integrate intersectionality in their work.

The speakers reflected on methodological approaches developed in or suggested by the current literature on intersectionality and their own experiences with doing research on intersecting inequalities. Some insights were offered from two ongoing research projects at the Center for Policy Studies:

The event was followed by a reception.