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Intersectionality as a Framework for Understanding Adolescent Vulnerabilities in Low and Middle Income Countries: Expanding Our Commitment to Leave No One Behind

Journal issue/article

Written by Nicola Jones

Image credit:Nathalie Bertrams/GAGE 2021

Given increasing policy attention to the consequences of youth marginalisation for development processes, engaging with the experiences of socially marginalised adolescents in low- and middle-income countries (including those who are out of school, refugees, married, with disabilities or adolescent parents) is a pressing priority. To understand how these disadvantages—and adolescents’ abilities to respond to them—intersect to shape opportunities and outcomes, this Special Issue draws on the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence conceptual framework which accounts for gender roles and norms, family, community and political economy contexts in shaping adolescents’ capabilities. Implicitly critiquing a focus within youth studies on individual agency, the articles advance our understanding of how adolescents’ marginalisation is shaped by their experiences, social identities and the contexts in which they are growing up. An analytical framework foregrounding intersectionality and collective capabilities offers a means to politicise these findings and challenge uncritical academic celebration of individual agency as the means to address structural problems.

Authors: Sarah Baird, Laura Camfield, Anita Ghimire, Bassam Abu Hamad, Nicola Jones, Kate Pincock and Tassew Woldehanna