Show Less
Restricted access

Intersectionality & Higher Education

Theory, Research, & Praxis

Donald Jr. Mitchell, Charlana Simmons and Lindsay A. Greyerbiehl

Intersectionality is a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. A scholar of law, critical race theory, and Black feminist thought, Crenshaw used intersectionality to explain the experiences of Black women who – because of the intersections of race, gender, and class – are exposed to exponential forms of marginalization and oppression. Intersectionality & Higher Education documents and expands upon Crenshaw’s ideas within the context of U.S. higher education. The text includes theoretical and conceptual chapters on intersectionality; empirical research using intersectionality frameworks; and chapters focusing on intersectional practices. The volume may prove beneficial for graduate programs in ethnic studies, higher education, sociology, student affairs, and women and gender studies alike.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter Ten: Backward Thinking: Exploring the Relationship among Intersectionality, Epistemology, and Research Design


← 110 | 111 → CHAPTER TEN

Exploring the Relationship among Intersectionality, Epistemology, and Research Design


Scholarship on intersectionality, particularly in educational research, often focuses on the intersecting identities of participants (e.g., Jones & Abes, 2013; Tillapaugh, 2012). Despite this focus, Renn (2010) argued that some scholars’ use of intersectionality inadvertently created “some slippage of the term among educational researchers” (p. 7). The lack of exploration regarding the interrogation of power implicit in intersectionality, how it influences one’s multiple identities and how it mediates one’s interactions with others, troubles us as scholars. We believe intersectional thinking that begins and ends with research participants’ identities misses an important step, which is how intersectionality is implicated in, and thus influences, the research design. We argue that one’s epistemological grounding, how one conceptualizes truth and power and the ways in which scholars influence each other’s thinking about their research projects, has a direct impact on the fecundity of the research content. These are the topics around which we frame our analysis within this chapter. In doing so, we find it important to engage in backward thinking, or the idea that one not only needs to leverage intersectionality with participants and in data analysis but also prior to seeking participants, specifically in terms of one’s epistemology, reflexivity, and overall research design.

In this chapter, we pose the following questions, which serve as a guide to our backward thinking:

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.