How can the effectiveness of our diversity
interventions be improved by the
consideration of lived experience at an
intersectional level?
Dr Victoria Lavis
Senior Lecturer in Psychology & Principal Investigator
ESRC research study ‘Responding to diversity
in three Yorkshire prisons: an Appreciative Inquiry’
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4 October, 2015
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
Prison Life
Shared cell
Work
Association
Wing servery
Movement
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4 October, 2015
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
What is Intersectionality?
Social Policies &
Practices
Viewpoint of the
Oppressed
Critiquing Language
& associated
Structures
Socially
Constructed
Intersectional
Personhood
Call to Action
Resistance &
Negotiation
Intersectionality
(Crenshaw 1991 : 2011)
Black
Feminism
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4 October, 2015
Critical Race
Theory
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
What is Intersectionality?
Theory
Paradigm
Methodology
Identity
Rights
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4 October, 2015
?
Means of
Analysis
Only applies to
people of colour?
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
Our Intersectional Standpoint
Language
Law
Macro
Category
Definition
Social
Construction
of Categories
“Social Fictions”
Construction
of Diverse Minorities
in Social & Relational
Domains
Policy
Micro
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Procedure &
Guidance
4 October, 2015
Practices
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
Critical Question
Education
Community
Groups
Public Sector
Private
Business
Advocacy
Groups
Criminal
Justice
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4 October, 2015
How can the effectiveness of our
diversity interventions be improved by
the consideration of lived experience
at an intersectional level?
Voluntary
Sector
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
Human
Resources
Healthcare
Three Ideas on Intersectionality
1.How recognising the existence of hierarchies of
credibility and marginalisation within diverse minorities
can help us to devise interventions and responses which
re-balance inequality.
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4 October, 2015
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
1. Hierarchy of Credibility
& Marginalisation
Positioned by place
within the wider
hierarchy
Majority v Minority
Groups
Between Minority
Groups
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4 October, 2015
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
1. Hierarchy of Credibility
& Marginalisation
Majority & Minority Groups
Age
Prison Population**
85,400
Gender (Male)
81,148
95%
38%)
Age (Under 25 or 50+)
32,748
38%
?
Ethnicity (exc White)
21,461
25%
Religion***
57,166
67%
Some Protected Groups
In any of these
Protected Groups*
Religion
67%
130%
* Does not include other protected groups
** NOMS Annual Offender Equalities
Report (2013/2014)
*** Christian 49%
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4 October, 2015
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
Ethnicity
25%
1. Hierarchy of Credibility
& Marginalisation
Prisoner Equality (PEG) Reps
MACRO
MICRO
Minimise Marginalisation
Offer practical support &
guidance to other prisoner
like them
Offer Diverse Minorities
a voice
Influence & shape the
system
OUTCOMES
Confer credibility of the
minority within the
hierarchy
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4 October, 2015
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
Three Ideas on Intersectionality
2.How enabling an understanding of the intersectional
nature of identity can promote the ability and awareness
of our organisations and people within those organisations to
actively “see” rather than ‘overlook’ difference
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4 October, 2015
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
2.Intersectional Nature
of Identity
Not Additive
Gender + Age + Sexuality, etc
Multiplicative
Gender x Age x Sexuality, etc
Gender
Class
Gender
Class
Ethnicity
Ethnicity
Age
Age
Sexuality
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4 October, 2015
Sexuality
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
2.Intersectional Nature
of Identity
Heuristics
Cognitive Short-cuts
Influences
“Seeing” Diversity
Viewpoint/Lens
About
Diversity Groups
Inaccurate
Incomplete
Unbalanced
Gender
Ethnicity
Age
Faith
Sexuality
Other
Workplace Learning
Institutional policy &
‘political’ sensitivity
Social Experience &
Social Learning
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Conscious
&
Unconscious Bias
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
2.Intersectional Nature
of Identity
“Seeing” Prisoners
Prison Staff
Prisoner
Male
Hindu
Asian
Sentence
Crime
Straight
Dyslexic
Under 25
Depression
Revealed
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4 October, 2015
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
Hidden
Three Ideas on Intersectionality
3. How recognising and assisting people to overcome
their fear of accusations of bias or inequity can move
our responding from a focus on equality of input to enable
a focus on equality of outcome
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4 October, 2015
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
3.Equality of Output
rather than Equality of Input
Equality of Responsiveness
Why doesn’t
this happen?
Singular
Intersectional
Treat all the
same
= Equality of
Input
Treat according
to need
= Equality of
outcome
e.g. unlock all
prisoners at the
same time for
chaplaincy
e.g. unlock
prisoners with
physical disability
first
Some prisoners will get
to their service on time,
others will not
All prisoners have
an equal chance of
getting to
chaplaincy on time
Fear of accusation
of bias
Because Equality is
understood in terms
Equality of INPUT
Rather than
Equality in terms of
Equality of OUTPUT
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4 October, 2015
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
Intersectionality in Prisons
Prison Service Mission
Safe, Secure & Decent Custody
Reduce Risk of Re-Offending
Education
& Skills
Reducing
Re-Offending
Quality of Prison Life
Healthy Prisons
Interventions
Delivery &
Outcomes all
depend on how we
see Prisoners
Secure Safe Custody
Every Contact
Matters
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4 October, 2015
Decency
& Respect
Equality &
Diversity
MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
Singular
v
Intersectional
Three ‘Appreciatively Framed’ Questions
1.How might hierarchies of credibility and influence in terms of
diversity be effecting the empowerment/disempowerment of
certain groups within your organisation?
2.How could the concept of Intersectionality be used to enable
people to “see diversity” more clearly?
3.How could adopting an Intersectional viewpoint be used to
enhance research insight and Interventions that lead to change?
Your Question for me
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MDIC 2015 Dr Victoria Lavis
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