Getting at Equality: Research methods informed by the lessons of intersectionality

Getting at Equality: Research methods informed by the lessons of intersectionality

Jane Bailey, Valerie Steeves, Jacquelyn Burkell, Leslie Shade, Priscilla Regan, Rakhi Ruparelia,

(2019) 18 International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 1–13

Abstract:

This article evaluates a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach with mixed methods including concept mapping, q-sorting and deliberative dialogue in the context of a research project on young people’s experiences with digital communications technologies, and addresses some of the central in sights of intersectionality theory and praxis. Our approach seeks to ensure that, in so far as possible, the gathered data provide a rich and layered window into the experiences of young people from a range of marginalized communities served by our project partners. The article revisits some key insights and contestations relating to intersectionality and addresses their relationship to our approach. We evaluate whether these methods enhance understandings of the interactions of structures of subordination with other factors identified in intersectionality scholarship, as well as the extent to which they centre the knowledge and expertise of those subordinated by matrices of domination as discussed by authors such as Crenshaw and Hill Collins. Our approach is just one of many that social science researchers interested in advancing intersectionality’s key insights could deploy. While it falls short of full consistency with these insights, its mixed methods work toward our partners’ social justice objectives while facilitating exploration of intersecting axes of subordination. Our approach canal so help our project recapture the politic at the heart of many intersectional feminist critiques, such as those of Crenshaw and Hill Collins - that reconceptualizing knowledge requires centring the knowledge and expertise of those traditionally excluded due to interlocking systems of subordination.

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About the Author:

Jane Bailey teaches cyberfeminism, technoprudence, contracts, and civil procedure courses. Her research focuses on the impact of evolving technology on equality, privacy, freedom of expression and multiculturalism, as well as the societal and cultural impact of the Internet and emerging forms of private technological control, particularly in relation to members of socially disadvantaged communities. She is the team leader of Working Group 1 on a 7-year MCRI project entitled "Rethinking Processual Law: Towards Cyberjustice" and a co-principal investigator with Dr. Valerie Steeves of the Department of Criminology on The eQuality Project, a 7-year SSHRC Funded Partnership investigating the relationship between online behavioural targeting of youth and "cyberbullying". She and Dr. Steeves previously co-led "The eGirls Project" , a project focusing on girls' and young women's experiences online that was funded by a 3-year SSHRC Partnership Development Grant. Her current research is focused on online harassment and hate, privacy and equality concerns arising from online behavioural targeting of youth, and access to justice.

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