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Interest in and applications of intersectionality have grown exponentially in popularity over the last 15 years. Scholars across the globe from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, political science, health sciences, geography, philosophy and anthropology, as well as in feminist studies, ethnic studies, queer studies and legal studies, have drawn on intersectionality to challenge inequities and promote social justice. This practice has also extended to policy makers, human rights activists and community organizers searching for better approaches to tackling complex social issues. Yet most people don’t know about intersectionality and why it is such an innovative framework for research, policy, and practice.
The aim of this primer is to provide a clear-language guide to intersectionality; we explore its key elements and characteristics, how it is distinct from other approaches to equity, and how it can be applied in research, policy, practice and teaching. Most importantly, the primer aims to show how intersectionality can fundamentally alter how social problems are experienced, identified and grasped to include the breadth of lived experiences.