Can Intersectionality Theory Enrich Population Health Research?

Green, M ORCID: 0000-0002-0942-6628, Evans, CR and Subramanian, SV
(2017) Can Intersectionality Theory Enrich Population Health Research? Social Science and Medicine, 178. pp. 214-216.

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Originating in black feminist scholarship (Collins, 1990, Crenshaw, 1989), intersectionality theory is emerging as a cornerstone of sociological thought. It encourages us to consider the ways in which upstream social determinants such as racism, sexism and classism form interlocking systems of oppression that shape the experiences and life chances of individuals as a consequence of their multi-dimensional social identities. Contextual forces such as sexism or racism do not operate in isolation but interact with each other in the production of health inequalities. Intersectionality is being increasingly adopted in social epidemiology because it dovetails with the domain's focus on the underlying power structures that produce inequalities (rather than inequalities simply resulting from the accumulation of independent risk factors). The most common way in which intersectionality is operationalised by health inequalities researchers has been “inter-categorical intersectionality” (McCall, 2005), which calls for considering numerous interactions between dimensions of social identity (and the social forces they are proxies for). In this commentary, we examine the potential contributions of intersectionality to applications in epidemiology and health-related fields. We identify challenges and opportunities for research, and outline future directions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: intersectionality, multi-level modelling, health inequalities, epidemiology
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2017 15:48
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 07:16
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.02.029
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