Politics and practices of inclusion: intersectional participatory action research

Joanna Wheeler, Jackie Shaw, Jo Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A politics of exclusion is gaining ground in the global North and South, actively excluding and delegitimizing certain groups. At the same time, in global policy discourse, such as the sustainable development goals, there is an increasing focus on inclusion of the most marginalized and a reduction of inequalities. This article explores the politics and practice of inclusion through grounded examples of intersectional participatory action research (PAR). It uses examples from South Africa and India to consider the added value of taking an intersectional approach to PAR. We trace how intersectionality in practice draws attention to hidden knowledge and experience, challenges discriminatory labels, and requires careful navigation between individual and group processes. We analyse the potential for PAR processes to enable groups to surface and acknowledge inequalities across difference. We propose that, through creative processes and iterative dialogue and reflection, exclusionary attitudes and discourses which undermine people’s agency can be challenged, and alternative, inclusive narratives may be constructed. Finally, we argue that this process is relevant to wider political debates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-63
Number of pages19
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


MSCA Horizon 2020


  • intersectionality
  • Inclusion
  • participatory video
  • Storytelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development

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