Beyond Making a Statement: An Intersectional Framing of the Power and Possibilities of Positioning

Mildred Boveda, Subini Ancy Annamma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In this essay, two women of Color researchers examine the intersections of race and disability and ask, “What is the power and purpose of positioning and positionality statements?” Informed by Black feminist theory, and drawing from the DisCrit tenets of intersectional oppressions, historicity, and whiteness and ability as property, the authors focus on researchers’ positioning in relation to how they engage and communicate knowledge about multiply marginalized people. Positionality statements, they argue, must be more than a listing of identities or a claim on authority through the naming of professional proximity to marginalized communities. Recognizing the increasing expectations for education scholars to articulate positionality in their scholarship, the authors offer a three-pronged intersectional framework, with provocations about the onto-epistemic, sociohistoric, and sociocultural elements of positioning. Education researchers interested in conveying how intersectional oppressions effect knowledge production will find this framework useful for crafting positionality statements that consider the multidimensional nature of power, oppression, and research in relation to their field, the literature, and multiply marginalized participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-314
Number of pages9
JournalEducational Researcher
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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