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Social geography I: Intersectionality

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Hopkins



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Intersectionality is an approach to research that focuses upon mutually constitutive forms of social oppression rather than on single axes of difference. Intersectionality is not only about multiple identities but is about relationality, social context, power relations, complexity, social justice and inequalities. This review reflects upon the use of intersectionality in social geography and emphasises the complex histories of intersectionality that are often overlooked in geography. I argue for a greater embrace of the contribution of black feminists and some of the earliest work in geography taking an intersectional perspective. I also argue for intersectionality to be used ethically and with care in geography, rather than it being deployed in a way that unwittingly reproduces a white, colonialist, racist and masculinist discipline. I explore possible avenues for future research about intersectionality in social geographies including a focus upon residential segregation, transnational migration and embodiment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hopkins P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Progress in Human Geography

Year: 2019

Volume: 43

Issue: 5

Pages: 937-947

Print publication date: 01/10/2019

Online publication date: 26/11/2017

Acceptance date: 01/11/2017

Date deposited: 03/11/2017

ISSN (print): 0309-1325

ISSN (electronic): 1477-0288

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0309132517743677


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Funder referenceFunder name
AH/K000594/1Arts & Humanities Research Council-AHRC (formerly AHRB)