23. May 2024

New BCDSS Discussion Paper Out Now! New BCDSS Discussion Paper Out Now!

Asymmetrical Dependencies and Intersectionality: Debates, Perspectives and Case Studies

The third BCDSS Discussion Paper on "Asymmetrical Dependencies and Intersectionality" has just been published. 

The Discussion Papers are dedicated to discussing the theoretical side of "strong asymmetrical dependency." They serve as impulses for researchers in and beyond the BCDSS who intend to work with the new key concept of strong asymmetrical dependency.


Discussion Paper 3
Discussion Paper 3 © BCDSS
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We describe new insights and future avenues for the exploration of strong asymmetrical dependencies when looking through the lens of intersectionality. With an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together expertise from a range of global epochs and different regions, we show that contextualizing and specifying how categories of difference structure social life enables scholars to better understand the ways in which hierarchies and strong asymmetries are (re)produced and enacted. In the study of asymmetrical dependency, the focus on the dynamic and multifaceted ways in which categories of difference engage with the formation of power has not been sufficiently applied. Thus, our intersectional outlook in terms of objects of analysis as well as academic practices, which is induced by our empirical work on asymmetrical dependencies, helps to correct this imbalance. Drawing on historical examples, we argue that intersectionality should not be seen as the application of a fixed set of ahistorical categories, but rather as an approach through which the dynamic interplay of various taxonomies in establishing dependency can be analyzed. Also, we emphasize the significance of a relational approach in order to grasp the mutual enforcement of different categories in producing asymmetries. We conclude that intersecting ways of looking into and arranging material make scholars see the formerly unseen and can reveal silenced voices of marginalized individuals. In this sense, including intersectionality in dependency studies helps to critically rethink paradigms and stereotypes that have been established in the study of strong asymmetrical dependencies and may even give rise to a paradigm shift.



BCDSS members Prof. Dr. Kristina Großmann, Prof. Dr. Marion Gymnich, Dr. James M. Harland, Prof. Dr. Julia Hillner, Prof. Dr. Claudia Jarzebowski, Dr. Eva Lehner, Danitza Márquez Ramírez, and Lisa Phongsavath, as well as BCDSS alumni Laurie Venters and former BCDSS fellows Dr. Caroline Laske and Dr. Royce Mahawatte. 


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