Intersectionalizing European politics: bridging gender and ethnicity

Mügge, Liza and de Jong, Sara (2013). Intersectionalizing European politics: bridging gender and ethnicity. Politics, Groups and Identities, 1(3) pp. 380–389.



This Dialogues section brings together research from two hitherto separate, interdisciplinary strands of European scholarship on politics: Gender Studies, and Migration and Ethnic Studies. Combining theories, concepts, methods and findings, the papers demonstrate what each field can learn from the other. By exploring various forms of citizenship and representation of ethnic minorities in Western Europe this section addresses the key contributions of Gender Studies and Migration and Ethnic Studies: intersectionality and the critique of methodological nationalism, respectively. Intersectionality challenges scholars to cross gender with other categories such as ethnicity. Methodological nationalism refers to the naturalization of national categories; critics dispute the assumption that the nation/state/society is the natural social and political form of contemporary politics. Both approaches are far from mainstream in political science, and despite their potential they are rarely combined. This essay argues that central future challenges for political science are (1) to mainstream intersectional analysis; (2) to be critical of the construction of taken-for-granted categories and the way such ‘fixed’ categories result from our focus on nation-states; (3) to develop new mix-method toolkits to make this exercise feasible.

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