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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Jens Beckmann

Beckmann, J.F. (2018). Deferential trespassing: Looking through and at an intersectional lens. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development 2018(161): 119-123.

Author(s) from Durham


In this article, I comment on the prospect of integrating an intersectionality perspective into the developmental sciences. I do this by sharing impressions, insights, and questions that have emerged whilst attempting to look at and to look through an intersectionality lens. My comments focus on three main topics. First, I speculate what forms such an integration could take and argue that an integration that productively contributes to shaping developmental science into a transdisciplinary field is likely to change intersectionality research itself. I then reflect on the perceived ambiguity in terms of the unit of analysis (e.g., social systems vs. individuals) and the focus of research questions (i.e., description vs. explanation vs. intervention) in intersectionality research. Clarity and transparency in this regard is instrumental to productively identifying conceptual and methodological overlaps or intersections with other subdisciplines in developmental sciences. Finally, I highlight the importance of development being more comprehensively reflected in the conceptualizations, the research questions, and the subsequently employed methodologies in intersectionality research. I conclude with a plea for allowing our expertise to intersect to transdisciplinarily work toward creating systemic and perpetual progress in the developmental sciences—something, I believe to resonate strongly with intersectionality researchers.