Barriers to operationalizing intersectionality in equality third sector community development practice: Power, austerity, and in/equality

Ashlee Christoffersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article explores the barriers that UK equality third sector organizations practising community development face when seeking to operationalize intersectionality. It is based on research with three networks of equality organizations (racial justice, feminist, disability rights, LGBTI rights, refugee organizations, etc.) in cities in England and Scotland employing mixed qualitative methods. Barriers to operationalizing intersectionality including power relationships with the state, challenges relating to neoliberal austerity, and competing discourses of identity-based 'equalities' and socioeconomic 'inequality' were identified. The article argues that equality third sector organizations are significantly hampered in their attempts to operationalize intersectionality by the low status they occupy vis-à-vis the state and by neoliberal austerity contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-158
Number of pages20
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Volume55
Issue number1
Early online date13 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • austerity
  • equality
  • intersectionality
  • third sector
  • UK

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