Beyond Intersectionality: Redefining Difference in the City

Sophie Russell
University of Exeter
November 2022


Intersectionality has become a dominant framework within the study of human geography, but it is not perfect. Whilst being a strong tool to analyse the relationships between different social categories, intersectionality theory is flawed in that it fails to appreciate the fluidity of social identities. Crucially, by neglecting the underlying foundations of space and geography, the intersectionality framework limits how geographers can situate social phenomena within a place. 

This article exposes limitations to the seeming inclusivity of intersectionality by contextualising the concept within urban spaces, through a particular focus on how the lived experience of ‘the right to the city’. Through a close reading of black queer authors and their poetry about the city, this article concludes that a renewed focus on space might revitalise an intersectional approach, and suggest new possibilities for the study of human geography.

Author profile

Sophie Russell is currently studying BA Geography and English Literature at the University of Exeter. This piece was written during her Study Abroad at University College Cork, Ireland, as part of her third-year coursework.


Intersectionality, right to the city, urban geography, literature, queer geography, feminist geography, identity.

Beyond Intersectionality: Redefining Difference in the City by Sophie Russell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Original Papers - Geoverse

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