Heterogeneous Effects in Education: The Promise and Challenge of Incorporating Intersectionality into Quantitative Methodological Approaches

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Schudde, Lauren

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To date, the theory of intersectionality has largely guided qualitative efforts in social science and education research. Translating the construct to new methodological approaches is inherently complex and challenging, but offers the possibility of breaking down silos that keep education researchers with similar interests—but different methodological approaches—from sharing knowledge. Quantitative approaches that emphasize the varied impacts of individual identities on educational outcomes move beyond singular dimensions capturing individual characteristics, drawing a parallel to intersectionality. Scholars interested in heterogeneous effects recognize the shortcomings of focusing on the effect of a single social identity. This integrative review explores techniques used in quantitative research to examine heterogeneous effects across individual background, drawing on methodological literature from the social sciences and education. I examine the goals and challenges of the quantitative techniques and explore how they relate to intersectionality. I conclude by discussing what education researchers can learn from other applied fields that are working to develop a crosswalk across the two disparate, but interconnected, literatures.


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Schudde, L. (2018). Heterogeneous effects in education: The promise and challenge of incorporating intersectionality into quantitative methodological approaches. Review of Research in Education, 42(1), 72-92.