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Working with diversity in services for children and young people
Working with diversity in services for children and young people

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3 Applying intersectionality to practice

In the chapter that you read for Activity 1, Jenny Douglas cites the work of influential theorists of intersectionality such as Kimberlé Crenshaw. But what does intersectionality mean in practice? In the video you are going to watch in the next activity, Kimberlé Crenshaw explains what intersectionality is, why it is important, and how practitioners can apply the theory. Although Crenshaw is addressing those who work in schools, what she says can also be applied to work with children and young people in other contexts.

Activity 3

Watch the video now, and as you do so, make notes in answer to the questions that follow.

Kimberlé Crenshaw: what is intersectionality? [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

1. Crenshaw states that intersectionality is just a metaphor. What does she say it’s a metaphor for?

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2. What example does she mention involving school suspensions, and what does she think this example illustrates?

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3. ‘Identity isn’t simply a self-contained unit. It is a relationship.’ What do you think Crenshaw means by this?

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4. Crenshaw gives examples of what schools can do to ensure they provide equality for all students, taking into account their intersecting identities. Can you think of an example of something that the practice setting with which you’re most familiar could do?

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