Geschlechterforschung / Gender Studies




Intersectionality – a challenge to social research or a new paradigm? (Carolin Küppers)

Carolin Küppers
Übung; 2 std., Mo 16-18 Uhr; Seminar-Sprache: Englisch, Module: Allgemeine Soziologie/Gender Studies/Soziale Differenzen

This course picks up models in sociology, which are recently subsumed under the umbrella term ‚intersectionality’. Intersectionality focuses on the relations between identity categories that create social inequalities like the triad ‚race’, ‚class’, ‚gender’, as well as sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion or health status.There are yet longstanding traditions of – among others –feminist and black political activism which have developed concepts in order to analyse multiple oppressions, complex discriminations, privileges and interdependent domination-relations. Some of them have been adapted and reconfigured in recent models of intersectionality. The course aims at a critical approach to this theoretical and methodological development in sociology. On the one hand, concrete research opportunities given by the concept are taken up. On the other hand the role of intersectionality in sociology and its institutionalisation is also discussed, imbedded in the processes of normalization in knowledge building in gender studies within the theorisation of intersectionality. A further field of interest is the relationship between models of intersectionality and different (inter- and trans-) disciplinary traditions. So we will investigate what kind of traditions and normativities are taken up, challenged and questioned? How far are categories presupposed and how far is intersectional research build upon categories? How is the relationship between categorizations in concepts of intersectionality and identities? Is there a chance for a deconstructive identity politics on the basis of intersectionality concepts?

Performance Record: presentation, assignment (10-15 pages)



  • Davis, Kathy (2008): Intersectionality as buzzword: A sociology of science perspective on what makes a feminist theory successful. In: Feminist Theory 9, S. 67-85.
  • McCall, Leslie (2005): “The Complexity of intersectionality”, in: Signs. Journal of Women in Culture and Society 30/3, S. 1771-1802.