Mixedness and Intersectionality : The Use of Relief Maps to Understand the Experiences of Multiracial Women of African Descent in Spain

Teresa Habimana Jordana, Dan Rodríguez García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This article analyzes the experiences of multiracial women of African descent in Catalonia, Spain-looking at their identity processes, social relations, experiences of racialization and discrimination, and strategies of resistance-using a novel qualitative research method called "Relief Maps," a very useful tool for the study of social inequalities from an intersectional and multilocational perspective. Relief Maps are a data collection tool and a means of visualizing and analyzing data-providing a graphical representation of interviewee narratives that discuss processes of social inclusion and exclusion. The maps represent three dimensions of experience: (1) psychological (indicating the respondent's level of discomfort or well-being); (2) geographical (including at least five physical or experiential locations: e.g., home, street, work, school); and (3) social (examining seven social variables or aspects of identity: i.e., gender, ethnicity/skin color, age, sexual orientation, social class, physical appearance, and religion). In this way, the maps show where greater or lesser well-being or discomfort is experienced by the respondent based on each aspect of identity, thus indicating personal places of oppression, places of controversial intersections, neutral places, and places of relief. We argue that this supplementary investigative technique is highly relevant to research in the social sciences, particularly in the field of mixed-race, critical race, and ethnic studies, as it provides an intersectional, reflective, nuanced, and contextual lens for understanding complex social phenomena, leading to information of greater analytical strength.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2023


  • Mixedness
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Relief Map
  • Discrimination
  • Intersectionality
  • Multiracialism
  • Mixed-race studies
  • Afro-feminism
  • Spain
  • qualitative research methods
  • intersectionality
  • multiracialism
  • mixedness
  • mixed-race studies
  • discrimination


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