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This term describes the intersection of different forms of discrimination against one person and how they intersect. It became a crucial concept for the analysis of complex barriers and discriminations which are not only to solve by tackling one aspect but rather to tackle exclusion and discrimination systemically.

Interplay of Multiple Social Categorisations

Intersectionality has to be understood as critical instrument to analyse how social categorizations (e.g., gender, ethnic origin, socioeconomic disadvantage, disability) shape people's identities and multiple affiliations.

Multiple discrimination, barriers and oppressions have a “qualitatively” different impact from those experienced on one ground only.

Structures, political agendas and representations intersect making specific experience more visible and other invisible in terms of access to rights and opportunities – for examples girls’, migrants’, people with disabilities’ experiences, or access to STEM education and training.

TED Talk: The Urgency of Intersectionality

TED Talk of Kimberlé Crenshaw: The urgency of intersectionality

Relevance for Education and Training

In regard to facilitation, intersectionality is a perspective helping facilitators to build diversity consciousness and to plan and manage learning processes in an inclusive and non-discriminatory way. The aim is to enable all involved learners to fully participate according to their needs and in a space as free and safe as possible. In particular, the intersectional perspective is helping facilitators to assess and reflect the accessibility of their learning processes, of inbuilt inclusive and exclusive mechanisms and habits, and also of the own action as moderators and facilitators during the process.


Collins, Patricia H., & Sirma Bilge, (2016) Intersectionality. Cambridge: Polity Press; Bello G. B. and Mancini L., (2016), Talking about Intersectionality. Interview with Kimberlé W. Crenshaw. Sociologia del diritto, 2: 11-21.;

Crenshaw, Kimberlé W., (2011), Post Scriptum. In Helma Lutz, Maria Teresa Herrera Vivar, & Linda Supik (edited by), Framing Intersectionality. Debate on a Multi-Faceted Concept inGender Studies. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé W., 1991. Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and ViolenceAgainst Women of Color. Stanford Law Review, 43: 1241-1299.

Inspiring Handbooks and Sources from the Community

Elisa Rapetti

Researcher in Sociology. PhD in Methodology of Social Research and Applied Sociology at University of Milano. Facilitator at Democracy and Human Right Education in Europe (DARE).


Also interesting:

Handbook: Diversity-dynamics.jpg

H. Fahrun, E. Skowron, N. Zimmermann

Diversity Dynamics: Activating the Potential of Diversity in Trainings.