Intersectional subjectivities and climate change adaptation: An attentive analytical approach for examining power, emancipatory processes, and transformation

Alicea Garcia, Petra Tschakert

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Abstract

Human geographers and other critical scholars have long emphasised the disproportionate effects of climate change on individuals and populations already socially and economically marginalised. Yet, scholarship and practice continue to work with inadequate conceptualisations of how these inequalities are perpetuated. In this critical examination, we illustrate that the feminist literature on intersectional subjectivities provides pertinent insights into transformational, emancipatory futures for disenfranchised individuals and groups who bear the brunt of the climate crisis. By focusing on how power dynamics produce and sustain multidimensional inequalities, across cultural and geographic contexts, and linking this with understandings of subject making, we draw attention to the many ways pervasive inequalities are challenged and (re)negotiated in the everyday of human–environment relations. As part of this line of inquiry, we further demonstrate how a focus on intersectional subjectivities helps to expose and overcome lingering ethical dilemmas and injustices within transformation efforts, with emphasis on the roles researchers and practitioners can play in nourishing emancipatory spaces. Progress in this space is crucial to critically examine and establish more transformative adaptation trajectories that foreground dignified lives in an increasingly unequal world.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jan 2022

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