Methodological Frontiers for Intersectional Theorizing: Advancing Qualitative Approaches for Research in Labour and Organizations


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This Special Issue is interested in showcasing the innovative possibilities offered by feminist and intersectional research practices, with the aim of providing labour and organizational scholars with novel and useful epistemological and methodological approaches to help make sense of, theorize, and confront workplace inequalities. Following Kimberlé Crenshaw’s (1989) academic introduction of the concept of intersectionality in socio-legal research, much attention has been placed across disciplines in the social sciences on the interplay between multiple social identities and structural inequalities. Intersectional approaches have reshaped the examination of individual, social, material, and structural influences, effectively emphasizing agency while also acknowledging social structures (Phoenix, 2006; Prins, 2006). Despite recognition of the usefulness of qualitative approaches and methods to advance intersectionality scholarship (see Bowleg, 2008; Rodriguez, 2018; Trahan, 2011), more methodological understanding is needed in relation to how multiple social identities are implicated in unequal positioning within systems of domination, and how to capture these relationships. In this respect, there is much scope to advance methodological knowledge of the operational and epistemological intricacies that helps researchers empirically access and make sense of intersectional dynamics, and how individuals navigate the resulting positions of privilege and disadvantage in their situatedness and shifting nature (Misra et al., 2021; Rodriguez, 2018). 
In this Special Issue, we delve into two interconnected considerations. First, the understanding of the epistemological and methodological purposes of intersectionality in terms of what it offers us, and second, how to translate that understanding into our own concrete methodological praxis as researchers. Christoffersen and Emejulu (2023) suggest that the interpretation of what intersectionality signifies is intricately linked to its application, aligning with Collins (2019), who argues that methodological practices are “vehicles” for intersectional theorizing (p. 142). There remains ample room for exploration into the intricate connections between epistemology and methodology, specifically focusing on the diverse ways in which various research practices yield distinct forms of knowledge, and the ontological and epistemological consequences related to intersectionally-sensitive methodological choices (Colombo & Rebughini, 2022; Davis & Lutz, 2022; McCall, 2005; Rodriguez, 2018). This Special Issue is interested in addressing this gap, encouraging innovative methodological perspectives to enliven and embody intersectional theories and practice (see Collins, 2019; Davis, 2014; Rebughini, 2021). 
As calls continue to engage with the ontological imagination of intersectionality to achieve socially just and diverse futures (Rice et al., 2019; Watson-Singleton et al., 2023), we seek to leverage curiosity, novelty, and usefulness to explore new and creative qualitative methodological avenues in intersectional research to help us deliver on its transformational potential. We welcome submissions focused on intersectional approaches that unite the imaginative exploration of methodology to theory and contribute to advancing the methodological interrogation of intersectionality both as a way to analyse the (re)production of labour and workplace inequalities, as well as a way to interrogate those who produce knowledge about it (see Carstensen-Egwuom, 2014; Rodriguez & Ridgway, 2023).

List of Topic Areas

  • How does the relationship between intersectional theorising, epistemology, and researchers' methodological choices shape research on labour and workplace inequalities?
  • What innovative methods can be employed for collecting and analysing intersectional data? 
  • What innovative methods can be employed for collecting and analysing data intersectionally? 
  • How could an intersectional approach enable the situated exploration of researcher and participant agency? 
  • How might researchers navigate ethical considerations when using intersectionally-sensitive methodologies? 
  • What does an intersectional ethics of care in qualitative research look like? 
  • How does intersectional reflexivity contribute to researcher accountability? 
  • How can researchers methodologically tackle the co-optation and whitewashing of intersectionality? 
  • How can intersectionality be adopted in posthuman methodological approaches to investigate how technologies, infrastructures, and material environments influence and intersect with situated and multiple social identities and experiences of oppression?
  • How can intersectional research practices investigate the interconnections between human and nonhuman entities, including technology, environment, and various materialities? 
  • How can researchers capitalise on developments in big data technology and AI to advance intersectional methodologies?

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.
Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see here.
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key Deadlines

Closing date for abstract submissions: 01/02/2025
The Guest Editors are planning to hold a paper development workshop in March 2025, inviting those authors who have submitted a 3000 word abstract before the Feb 1st deadline. This is optional and full paper submissions are still welcome from those who are unable to attend the PDW.
Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 01/06/2025 
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30/06/2025