Developing geographies of intersectionality with Relief Maps: Reflections from youth research in Manresa, Catalonia

Maria Rodó-de-Zárate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The conceptualisation of intersectionality has been one of the most important contributions to feminism, as it allows for theorisation about multiple and intersecting oppressions. This contributes to a more complex and dynamic understanding of social relations and power structures, and it acknowledges the differences between categories, but it has no methodological direction. I try to take this debate a step forward, by developing what I have called Relief Maps: a new way of collecting, analysing and displaying intersectional data. I consider Relief Maps to be a sound tool for studying the Geographies of Intersectionality, as they show the relationship between three dimensions: power structures (the social), lived experience (the psychological) and places (the geographical). By showing some examples of them, I demonstrate how Relief Maps make empirical work on intersectionality possible and how they are able to take into account both privilege and oppression without using categories in a fixed and rigid way. Taking the spatial dimension as a central part of the analysis, they show how the relationship between power structures varies depending on places and also illustrate how subject formations are done and undone through everyday spaces. Relief Maps aim to take the potentialities of intersectionality and minimise its limitations: they intend to disrupt homogeneous categories while pointing towards the material consequences of oppression. Finally, Relief Maps also provide some insights on intersectionality itself, as they help to think about how power structures relate to each other and the role that experience and place play in these processes. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-944
JournalGender, Place and Culture
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • feminism
  • intersectionality
  • lived experience
  • place
  • Relief Maps


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