We will adopt an intersectional approach to gender. Research and analysis will draw on the multiple processes and moments where the separation between typically ‘male’ and ‘female’ practices, as well as the public and private boundaries are challenged, questioned or transgressed and new meanings and relations emerge. Using an intersectional approach, Ge.M.IC researchers will consider how gender, race, class, ethnicity and other social divisions interact to construct personal and collective identities in flux. Thus, through the lens of gender Ge.M.IC will address current and changing contents of practices, such as those of tolerance and intolerance, hybridity and identity, hospitality and xenophobia at the regional, national, transnational and local level.
Intersectionality, the study of the «interrelationships of gender, class, race and ethnicity and other social divisions», is claimed both as a multilevel analytical approach and a more sophisticated political orientation. Analytically, an intersectional approach can be applied to elicit different ‘voices’ or identifications occurring in one person’s narrative, to highlight the points of convergence or tension across and between different narratives (by variously positioned subjects), or to produce policy analyses that, in their refinement, are more socially relevant and politically incisive. Following on from, and critical of, identity politics, what is sought after is “the difficult balancing act of simultaneously foregrounding specificity and politics”. Critiques of intersectionality point out the lack of a specific research methodology, as well as the potential displacement of gender from the central focus of study. However, from the perspective of an intersectional approach the complexity of social relations of difference calls for multiple research methodologies and not a single one. Moreover, attention to gender is precisely what constitutes an intersectional approach possible in the first place.
Drawing on a rich tradition of British feminist studies on race, ethnicity and nationalism as well as British critical feminist psychology, Ge.M.IC., will variously address aspects and dynamics of minoritization, racialization and feminization in relation to dominant discourses/practices of gender, identity and difference within institutional, professional and political contexts. Feminist theory has insisted on the need to account for the complexity of social positioning and subjectivation processes through multiple, overlapping and interacting relations of difference and inequality, which cannot be reduced to one primary or dominant one.
Intercultural interactions are saturated by gendered and ethnocentric presuppositions about typically ‘male’ and ‘female’ roles and practices. However, because such practices bring together migrants and natives from different ethnic origins, races, ages, social classes, educational backgrounds, they also become spaces where these practices are challenged and renegotiated.