Confronting White privilege: the importance of intersectionality in the sociology of education

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This article explores how White privilege and a hierarchy of oppression have resulted in competing identities in which gender has been given greater importance compared to race. I argue that the sociology of education needs to adopt an intersectional approach that travels in different directions if it is to remain valid. The article examines how gender, perpetuated by White privilege, continues to play a key role in the positioning of Black and minority ethnic staff, students and pupils within a range of stereotypes that operate to marginalise their life trajectories. The article argues that if sociologists of education are unwilling to challenge White privileged populist discourses and their own positions of White privilege, then they will become complicit in maintaining a socially unjust status quo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-816
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2020


  • Race
  • White privilege
  • equity
  • gender
  • intersectionality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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