Over the last three decades, intersectionality has become a central feature of feminist writings as well as policy debates. The concept was developed to account for the inextricability of various social divisions and its impact on experiences of inequality and discrimination. Class, race, gender, sexuality, citizenship, age or disability – among other categories – are seen as intersecting to produce different outcomes and power structures. Given the centrality of place to problems of participation in society, it is no wonder that intersectionality has also left its mark on spatial research, particularly highlighting the mutual production of intersectional identities and space.
In relation to space and spatial practices, intersectional analyses can draw attention to the way inequalities can become ingrained, even naturalized, through spatial features (of cities as well as rural spaces). Intersectional analyses may then illuminate specific forms of spatial exclusion and displacement – ranging from limitations on access to space, to restricted mobilities, as well as experiences of material, symbolic and/or physical violence. On the other hand, approaches factoring in intersectionality may also address efforts to create “safe” spaces or to democratize access to space, thereby accounting for different registers of vulnerability. This blog series speaks to this range of themes and issues.