Examining our privileges and oppressions: incorporating an intersectionality paradigm into nursing


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Abstract

VAN HERK KA, SMITH D and ANDREW C. Nursing Inquiry 2011; 18: 29–39 Examining our privileges and oppressions: incorporating an intersectionality paradigm into nursingAn intersectionality paradigm is a means by which nurses can attend to issues of oppression and privilege within their practice and profession. Intersectionality is introduced as an essential theory to help debunk the hegemony of the ‘white, middle class’ perspective that often directs nursing research, practice, and education. The values and benefits of using an intersectionality paradigm in nursing are shown through recent research done with Aboriginal women. These findings contribute to an increased understanding of the importance and necessity of attending to the power relations that dominate nursing care encounters and influence the way nurses provide care. By acknowledging and responding to the presence of privilege and oppression and the associated power dynamics within the therapeutic encounter, nursing can strive further in helping to alleviate social injustices and health disparities that arise from unequal power relations.

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