Intersectionality And Life Course Theory

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and institutional changes that we have encountered (O’Rand, 2012). More specifically, Riley’s new life course model is now “age-integrated” and “multiplex” (O’Rand, 2012, p. 199). This life course model also considers the opportunity and constraints different groups experience due to inequalities (O’Rand, 2012).
Despite these changes, there is still some room for improvement. More specifically, although life course is a strong theory, as it explores the diversity of individual’s lives and heterogeneity, life course theory takes on a behavioural perspective, which also makes heterogeneity one of its greatest limitations. As life course theory is a behavioural theory, it tends to group individuals in search of patterns. For example it often looks …show more content…

More specifically, by using the two theories together, both the complexities of an individual’s relation with the structural systems of oppression and power can be uncovered, and their personal experience with oppression and power in relation to their unique social interactions and experiences can be understood. Consequently, using intersectionality and life course theory is useful in informing my social work practice in challenging oppression and inequality. The use of intersectionality is crucial in challenging oppression and inequality, as it tackles it from an institutional level. Jones (2000) describes how it is first important to address “instructional racism”, to tackle “personally mediated” and “internalized racism” (pp. 1212 &1213). Similarly, oppression and inequality must first be addressed at an institutional level. Intersectionality is equipped to do just that, as through acknowledging the intersectional “interplay” of gender, sexuality, class, and race, oppression and inequality are reinforced, created and upheld (Mattsson, 2014, p.8). As Mattsson (2014) describes, by understating the complexities of intersexuality in power relations, we can challenge the social structures that create oppression in the first place. It is only through these realizations that the correlations between oppression, institutions, inequalities, power, and suffrage can be recognized and understood, for instance, the disproportionate HIV infection rates among the black female population, as well as the disproportionate domestic and sexual assault indigenous women encounter (Amnesty International, 2009; Logie et al.,

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