Feminist Intersectionality Theory

635 Words3 Pages
In “Applying Intersectionality & Complexity Theory to Address the Social Determinants of Women’s Health,” McGibbon & McPherson detail studies on social determinants on health to explain how feminist intersectionality theory can be used in addition to complexity theory in public health. In “The Problem with the Phrase Women and Minorities: Intersectionality- an Important Theoretical Framework for Public Health,” Bowleg problematizes rhetoric and practices in the public health field. She draws upon similarities between intersectionality and critical race theory to argue that intersectionality is a natural fit for the public health realm. Both Bowleg and McGibbon & McPherson explore the need to include intersectionality in the field of public…show more content…
An acknowledgement of multiple intersecting identities is a prerequisite to understanding inequality in the public health system and in fixing it (Bowleg 2012: 1). Bowleg cites the black feminist founders of intersectionality and uses intersectionality as theoretical framework. She operates from the position of marginalized populations to create space in a system that must acknowledge them by citing inequities such as those reflected by HIV rates. (Bowleg 2012: 2). Due to the infancy in the field cited by McKibben& McPherson there are issues in the potential application of intersectionality to public health. It is unclear how research on intersectionality ought be conducted given how few guidelines exist (Bowleg 2012: 4). Both critical race theory and intersectionality accept that race is a social construct and that racism can intersect with other identities to change the way oppression manifests itself (Bowleg 2012: 5). Crucially, critical race theory has had an impact on discourse related to public health (Bowleg 2012: 5). With that said, intersectionality is able to provide a unifying language for issues involving intersecting identities and provides a more informative discussion by studying different identities together (Bowleg 2012: 6). It embraces complexity to contribute to a more accurate
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