Intersectionality, social work, and health

Abigail M. Ross, Elaine P. Congress, Sara Matsuzaka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In recent years, health researchers and practitioners have turned to intersectional approaches to practice, policy analysis, and the conduct of research to better understand the etiology of persistent and pervasive population-level inequities in healthcare access and health outcomes. This chapter begins with a brief historical overview of intersectionality and a discussion of core elements of the construct as applied to the social determinants of health and healthcare. The authors then describe current innovations to social work practice, policy, and research that utilize intersectional approaches and conclude with a discussion of current challenges and future directions for the social work profession. The chapter describes innovative approaches to practice, policy, and research that have the potential to incorporate both the complexity of mutually constituted social identity categories as well as their interdependency with larger social contexts, including the U.S. healthcare system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth and Social Work
Subtitle of host publicationPractice, Policy, and Research
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780826141644
ISBN (Print)9780826141637
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Health outcomes
  • Health researchers
  • Healthcare
  • Healthcare access
  • Intersectionality
  • Social determinants of health
  • Social identity
  • Social work
  • U.S. healthcare system


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