Methodological Considerations on Intersectional Perspectives on Life Histories, Practices and Strategies in Contexts of Family and Migration

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Lalitha CHAMAKALAYIL, University of Applied Sciences and Art, Northwestern Switzerland, Switzerland
Christine RIEGEL, University of Education Freiburg, Germany
Intersectionality is an important perspective of analysis and a valuable sensitizing concept with regard to power relations (cf. Davis 2008; Phoenix 2010; Riegel 2014). In our paper we would like to discuss methodological considerations on how intersectionality as a perspective can be utilized in biographical research: As a contextualizing framework of analysis as well as with the potential to critically question dominant constructions of difference. With this, it becomes possible to delineate the empirical interplay of different contexts of power and inequality, of asymmetrical gender, class, ethnicity and body contexts in a globalised capitalist world, and to portray the different social levels on which these become relevant. The objective scope of possibility with its societal and social contextuality as well as the subjective perspective and assessment of ones own potentials and agency in these social contexts can be analysed in its relevance in the biography. Here, changes and shifts of the specific social positioning and their importance for the actions of a person during the biographical span and on the background of their experiences can be looked at. A set of questions of intersectional perspectives of analysis has been developed (cf. Riegel 2016) and will be discussed, followed by an illustration of analyses conducted within the framework of an international research project on life histories, practices and strategies in contexts of family and migration in marginalised neighbourhoods in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Based on this, we would like to discuss potentials as well as challenges connected with an intersectional perspective on biography.