Intersectionality and Qualitative Research

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Abstract

This chapter discusses how the combination of intersectionality and qualitative research methods provides a robust methodological framework to study disadvantage and inequality, arguing that their complementarity facilitates explanations and critiques of the theoretical points inhabited by individuals and groups as part of systems of power and domination. Drawing on theoretical discussions and empirical evidence primarily from the social sciences and humanities, the chapter traces the development of qualitative intersectional research, addressing the importance of understanding social divisions and the purpose of intersectionality, and how qualitative methodologies and methods facilitates their operationalization. Practical challenges of conducting qualitative intersectional research are discussed, in particular critical analyses and interpretations of the nuances of the lived experience and what shapes it at different levels, as well as the role of intersectional reflexivity to situate researchers’ own intersecting identities. The chapter concludes identifying methodological avenues to advance qualitative intersectional work, such as using methods that allow broadening the scope of intersectionality to study dominant identities, mapping more clearly how knowledge, diversity and equality operate in interconnected dialectic ways; for example, through the use of multi-stakeholder, multi-level analyses of differential social, economic and political power, and embedding non-hierarchical notions of difference as part of intersectional analyses.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods
EditorsCatherine Cassell, Ann L Cunliffe, Gina Grandy
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSage Publications Ltd
Chapter26
Pages429
Number of pages462
Volume1
Edition1st
ISBN (Print)9781473926622
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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