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Critical Multiculturalism and Intersectionality in a Complex World

Second Edition

Lacey Sloan, Mildred Joyner, Catherine Stakeman, and Cathryne Schmitz

Publication Date - 03 September 2018

ISBN: 9780190904241

192 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

By providing a balance between self-reflection and knowledge building, this book guides the examination of social identities, biases, mechanisms of oppression, and impact of privilege. Learning is globally situated with a lens on localized identity, and positionality at the intersections of multiple identities is explored.


Critical Multiculturalism and Intersectionality in a Complex World guides the reader through a process of critical self-reflection that allows for examination of social identities, biases, and experiences of oppression and privilege. Its exploration of the history, sources, mechanisms, structures, and current manifestations of oppression -- complimented by case examples (with new stories from across the globe) and guiding questions -- provides a framework for improving the ability to recognize, confront, and dismantle oppressions. Deeper cultural patterns, implicit biases, and internalized negative perceptions are examined, enabling readers to explore cultures that have different patterns, values, and behaviors while challenging their own biases about 'other' cultures. In addition to a focus on the USA, this edition features added content on Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Canada, South Africa, Australia, India, and Kenya. This new edition will appeal to all graduate and undergraduate students of the social sciences, human sciences, and humanities.

New to this Edition

  • Recognizes implicit bias as informing unconscious stereotypes and attitudes towards others, even when one may be actively engaged in anti-racism work
  • Examines imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the growing economic gap as part of the underlying causes of global inequality and oppression
  • Enhances content regarding trans individuals
  • Updates the chapter on race and ethnicity to include color, caste, tribe, and nationality
  • Includes the problems of global migration and environmental degradation


  • Shares case examples from the field to illustrate the real-life applications and challenges of critical multiculturalism
  • Includes discussion questions in each chapter to support critical self-reflection with readers' own experiences of privilege and oppression
  • Examines institutional bias and systemic structures that establish privilege and marginalization of identity groups
  • Explores identity development and the achievement of healthy identities
  • Provides an intersectionality web to help inform readers' understanding of the complexity of identity

About the Author(s)

Lacey M. Sloan, PhD, MSSW, is an associate professor at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Mildred C. Joyner, MSW, LCSW, BCD, is professor emerita of social work at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Catherine J. Stakeman, DSW, MSW, LCSW, is an independent higher education specialist and community citizen active in the fight for social justice.

Cathryne L. Schmitz, PhD, MSW, is a professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG).


"Critical Multiculturalism and Intersectionality in a Complex World offers a multidimensional approach to examining inequalities in the world and offers practical examples to elucidate experience. The varied frameworks on identity formation and development offer practical ways to facilitate critical self- awareness. Employing intersectionality in understanding power and positionality centers critical consciousness to the workings of processes of domination and subjugation and, therefore, the differential experiences. The book moves the discourse on the concepts, diversity, multiculturalism, and inequalities from narrow, over-simplified versions to working complex discussions that take into account the global, social, political, and cultural experiences of power." -Otrude N. Moyo, PhD, MA, MSW, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Social Work, University of Michigan-Flint

"This newest edition of Critical Multiculturalism and Intersectionality in a Complex World provides readers with a powerful blueprint for how to think carefully, holistically, creatively, and honestly about the issues that matter most. Teaching with this well-written book makes some of the classroom's most difficult conversations easier to navigate with confidence and clarity." -John L. Jackson, Jr., PhD, Dean, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania; Co-author, Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money, and Religion

"This masterpiece of collective thought will be an invaluable teaching resource. It is transformative, global, comprehensive, and provides a critical multicultural perspective. While engaging the reader in a personal reflective process, it provides essential knowledge and skills for contemporary social work practice focused on justice, equality, and inclusion." -Saundra H. Starks, EdD, LCSW, Professor of Social Work, Western Kentucky University

Table of Contents

    About the Authors
    Chapter 1: Critical Multiculturalism, Oppression, and Action
    Chapter 2: Critical Self-Reflection and Identity Development
    Chapter 3: Race, Ethnicity, Color, Caste, Tribe, and Nationality
    Chapter 4: Gender, Sex, and Sexual Orientation
    Chapter 5: People with Disabilities
    Chapter 6: Intersectionality: Positioning Privilege and Marginalization
    Chapter 7: Critical Multicultural Practice

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