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Embodying Inequality Activity: Teaching Intersectionality with Ethnographic Data
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Embodying Inequality
Instructions and Handouts.pdf

How to Cite

Gardner, Jeffrey, and Ashleigh McKinzie. 2020. “Embodying Inequality Activity: Teaching Intersectionality With Ethnographic Data”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, February. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Intersectionality is an analytic concept that signifies ways that inequalities may overlap to create unique forms of privilege and subjugation (Crenshaw 1989, 1991; Hill Collins 2009; Hill Collins and Bilge 2016). However, intersectionality is a perplexing concept for students to grasp (Naples 2009). A recurring puzzle for some sociology instructors is...

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Subject Area(s):
Race, Class and Gender
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

The instructor should prepare students for the activity in the previous class lecture, discussion, and/or assigned readings by introducing the concept of intersectionality. Specifically, students should be familiar with intersectionality signifying that different forms of domination overlap (e.g., racism, classism, and sexism) as a system of oppression...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Students will be able to convey how intersecting inequalities are "real" from the perspective of research participants.
  2. Students will be able to define intersectionality as an analytic concept for understanding intersecting identities and ways that social institutions create forms of power, privilege, and subjugation.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to think critically about how their own positionalities are shaped by different institutional and historical forces.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. This goal may be assessed through the student interior monologue free-writing exercise, student responses on the meet-and-greet handout, and/or the group responses to the vignettes.
  2. This goal may be assessed through class discussion and the written responses to the prompt that asks students to define intersectionality at the end of the activity.
  3. This goal may be assessed through the concluding free-writing exercise that asks students to reflect on the activity and how intersectionality could help them make sense of their own experiences with intersecting forms of inequality and privilege.

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