Purpose – This chapter reflects on the interpretation and effects of the term intersectionality within the academy and across a broad spectrum of institutional and grassroots environments in which it is operationalized and deployed.
Design/methodology/approach – Based on the authors’ experiences within the academy and their respective participation as researchers and organizers within feminist, queer, and racial and economic justice movements, the chapter surveys the rhetorical, political, and organizational uses of intersectionality across these realms.
Findings – Five general challenges to intersectional practice are identified and described: misidentification, appropriation, institutionalization, reification, and operationalization. The authors trace these challenges across the academy, grassroots movements, and nonprofit organizations.
Originality/value – Offers a new articulation of intersectional practice as the application of scholarly or social movement methodologies aimed at intersectional and sustainable social justice outcomes.
Luft, R.E. and Ward, J. (2009), "Toward an intersectionality just out of reach: Confronting challenges to intersectional practice", Demos, V. and Texler Segal, M. (Ed.) Perceiving Gender Locally, Globally, and Intersectionally (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 9-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-2126(2009)0000013005
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