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The emergence of intersectional disadvantage

O’Connor, Cailin, Bright, Liam K. and Bruner, Justin P. (2019) The emergence of intersectional disadvantage. Social Epistemology, 33 (1). pp. 23-41. ISSN 0269-1728

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Identification Number: 10.1080/02691728.2018.1555870


Intersectionality theory explores the peculiar disadvantages that arise as the result of occupying multiple disadvantaged demographic categories. Addressing intersectionality theory through quantitative methods has proven difficult. Concerns have been raised about the sample size one would need in order to responsibly tease out evidence for the claims of intersectionality theorists. What is more, theorists have expressed concern about our ability to formulate novel intersectional hypotheses in a non-ad-hoc manner. We argue that simulation methods can help address these, and other, methodological problems, because they can generate novel hypotheses about causal dependencies in a relatively cheap way, and can thus guide future empirical work. We illustrate this point using models which show that intersectional oppression can arise under conditions where social groups are disadvantaged in the emergence of bargaining norms. As we show, intersectional disadvantage can arise even when actors from all social categories are completely identical in terms of preferences and abilities. And when actors behave in ways that reflect stronger intersectional identities, the potential for disadvantage increases. As we note, this exploration illustrates the usefulness of idealized models to real world inquiry.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Routledge
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2018 13:38
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2024 04:06

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