Teaching intersectionality in inter- sectional settings

gottoIntersectionality and intersectional theories are currently some of the most important and influential theoretical, methodological and pedagogical approaches within sociology and other social sciences, especially in their critical approach. According to the most common understanding, intersectionality is not only a theory but most of all an analytical tool that “(…) provides a framework for explaining how social divisions of race, gender, age, and citizenship status, among others, positions people differently in the world, especially in relation to global social inequality” (Hill Collins & Bilge 2016: 15). Therefore, teaching sociology students how to use this tool seems to be a very important task. However, because understanding the entire spectrum of the intersectional approach is rather complex, and even among experienced researchers some misunderstandings and simplifications occur (Naples 2009), teaching intersectionality to undergraduate and graduate students can be both beneficial and challenging and strongly depends on a) teacher expertise and auto-reflexivity, and b) the composition of the student group and the level of heterogeneity. Continue reading