Intersectionality and Socioeconomic Resources
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Intersectionality and Socioeconomic Resources

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Lecture on what is intersectionality and its relevance for social stratification

Lecture on what is intersectionality and its relevance for social stratification

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  • Intersectionality and the Protest Generation of 1989
  • Intersectionality and the Protest Generation of 1989

Intersectionality and Socioeconomic Resources Intersectionality and Socioeconomic Resources Presentation Transcript

  • Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow Cross-National Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training (CONSIRT) Program crossnationalstudies.org and Polish Academy of Sciences Intersectionality: Class, Ethnicity and Gender
  • C ommon principles of intersectionality are: -- individuals belong to multiple demographic categories, so that the same individual has a specific gender, an ethnicity, and a social class position, among others; -- some categories provide advantages and some disadvantages, with each having roots in social stratification structure .
    • Approaches to Intersectionality
    • Unitary, or Additive, Approach
    • Most researchers employ the unitary approach. Its main theoretical assumptions are that
    • demographic categories have social properties that are distinct from the other characteristics of individuals ;
    • a separate category could be a the best predictor of the dependent variable ;
    • D emographic variables have additive effects.  For example, the joint effect of being a woman, belonging to an ethnic minority, and representing disadvantaged social class is seen as a sum of the effects of these three demographic variables.
  • Approaches to Intersectionality Categorical Approach -- T he influence of demographics on a social outcome is conditional on the intersections of the demographic categories.  -- C onstituent elements of intersections have valid social meaning , but.. .  --   t he constituent elements of intersections are there to provide context for the intersections themselves.
  • Approaches to Intersectionality Anti-Categorical Approach -- it is assumed that “social life is considered too irreducibly complex… to make fixed categories anything but simplifying social fictions…” (McCall 2005: 1773).  -- Gender, ethnicity, and class are inseparable as each has no valid social meaning on their own.  -- A ssumes that each constituent category of the intersection has no autonomous effects (direct contrast to the unitary approach) . 
  • C umulative D isadvantage Cumulative disadvantage implies that the more disadvantaged categories represented by the individual, the lower the ir probability of political participation . Number of Disadvantaged Categories D emographic Groups 0 MAN 1 WOMAN MAN and ETHNIC minority MAN and lower CLASS 2 MAN and ETHNIC minority and lower CLASS WOMAN and ETHNIC minority WOMAN and lower CLASS 3 WOMAN and ETHNIC minority and lower CLASS
  • Group-Specific Disadvantage Social Dominance Theory, specifically the Subordinate Male Target Hypothesis (SMTH) : -- T he battle over resources is primarily fought between dominant males and subordinate males. -- Thus, subordinate males are the main target of discrimination, and are the most oppressed group. For example, ethnic minority males should be more disadvantaged than ethnic minority females. Sidanius, Jim, and Felicia Pratto, Colette van Laar, Shana Levin. 2004. “Social Dominance Theory: Its Agenda and Method.“ Political Psychology 25(6): 845-880.
  • Group-Specific Disadvantage Intersectional Invisibility -- This theory argues that social context influence s groups’ degree of disadvantage: in some cases subordinate men are more disadvantaged, in other cases, subordinate women. -- In some contexts , because of their particular combination of demographics, women are socially invisible. This provides them some advantages – invisibility is a shield from being a target of prejudice and discrimination. Purdie-Vaughns, Valerie and Richard P. Eibach. 2008. “Intersectional Invisibility: The Distinctive Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiple Subordinate-Group Identities.“ Sex Roles 59: 377-391.
  • Criticisms
    • None of these theories properly discusses the role of class. Class is a millstone variable.
    • Group-Specific Disadvantage as default: If Cumulative Disadvantage and SMTH fail, Intersectional Invisibility is the only theory left.
    • Theories and the empirical literature on intersectionality silent on cross-national variation in socioeconomic disadvantage.
  • How Can We Account for Intersectionality in Quantitative Analysis of Cross-National Survey Data? 
    • Can surveys capture demographics as intersections?
    • Which demographic items to include in intersectional analysis?
    • Small N problem
    • Comparability of countries
    • For more information:
    • intersectionalityandmethodology.wordpress.com
  • Data, Variables, Methods Round 3 (2006) Variable Name Measurement Political Participation Participating in any or all of: lawful public demonstration, signing a petition, boycott = 1, otherwise = 0. Gender Woman = 1, Man = 0. Ethnicity S elf-report of minority status and/or discrimination based on ethnicity = 1, otherwise = 0. Class Based on EGP. U nskilled workers, agricultural laborers, and self-employed farmers = 1, otherwise = 0 (including those without an occupational code) .
  • Data, Variables, Methods Round 3 (2006) Variable Name Measurement Demographic Intersections Interaction terms combining gender, ethnicity and class variables. Age 0 to 35 = 1, otherwise = 0 ; 6 1 + = 1, otherwise = 0 . Socioeconomic Resources Combination of household income and years of education, expressed in deciles. Low (lowest three deciles) = 1, otherwise = 0. Non-Urban L iving in a non-urban (suburban or rural) = 1, otherwise = 0. Country Germany = 1, France = 0.
  • Table 1. Socioeconomic Resources by Intersections of Gender, Ethnicity and Class for France and Germany Source: Author’s calculations based on European Social Survey Round 3 (2006). Socioeconomic resources are a combination of household income and level of education, expressed in deciles where the lower the deciles, the lower the level of resources. Demographic Groups Mean N Std. Dev . MAN 6,41 1821 2,78 WOMAN 5,89 2019 2,79 MAN and ETHNIC minority 5,59 91 3,02 WOMAN and ETHNIC minority 5,17 99 2,71 MAN and lower CLASS 4,06 414 2,43 MAN and ETHNIC minority and lower CLASS 3,63 41 1,75 WOMAN and ETHNIC minority and lower CLASS 3,11 28 2,12 WOMAN and lower CLASS 2,99 389 1,92
  • Socioeconomic Resources by Intersections of Gender, Ethnicity and Class for Germany and France Germany France Demographic Groups Mean N Std. Dev. Mean N Std. Dev. MAN 6,45 844 2,56 6,05 638 3,08 MAN and ETHNIC minority 5,97 35 2,85 5,21 33 3,37 MAN and low CLASS 4,30 196 2,24 3,37 139 2,47 MAN and ETHNIC minority and low CLASS 3,71 17 1,99 3,79 14 1,85 WOMAN 5,71 876 2,49 5,74 721 3,16 WOMAN and ETHNIC minority 5,67 36 2,15 4,32 34 3,27 WOMAN and low CLASS 3,22 153 1,81 2,38 152 1,87 WOMAN and ETHNIC minority and low CLASS 3,10 10 1,29 2,56 9 2,60 All 5,67 2167 2,62 5,30 1740 3,21