Power, privilege and justice: intersectionality as human rights?

Colin Clark, Dee Matthew, Vicki Burns

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)
    294 Downloads (Pure)


    How can we best connect and understand issues of power, privilege and justice in a human rights framework? One approach is to explicitly position intersectionality as a theoretical lens that can assist a critical understanding of the connections between these concepts and realities. The paper does this through an examination of the situation in Scotland via Show Racism the Red Card, an anti-racist non-governmental organisation that works with school-age children to raise awareness on the power of prejudice and discrimination in everyday, interrelated lives. It is shown that despite its complexities, intersectionality can work both conceptually and methodologically in complex environments such as classrooms. The realisation of rights is foregrounded and an appreciation of context, politics, social divisions and outcomes vis-à-vis inclusive equalities needs to be fully grasped. The case study of Show Racism the Red Card situates the nuances of intersectionality as both theory and method, illustrating the need for human rights to be mindful of past, present and future. Overall, it is argued that the example of Scotland offers opportunities to witness a critique of how power, privilege and justice are connected and challenged in a human rights context and how rights can be realised in everyday settings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    Number of pages19
    JournalThe International Journal of Human Rights
    Issue number0
    Early online date31 Oct 2017
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2017


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