Intersectional Analysis as a Method to Analyze Popular Culture: Clarity in the Matrix, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Intersectional Analysis as a Method to Analyze Popular Culture

Clarity in the Matrix, 1st Edition

By Erica B. Edwards, Jennifer Esposito


208 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-12-17
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Intersectional Analysis as a Method to Analyze Popular Culture: Clarity in the Matrix explores how race, class, gender, sexuality, and other social categories are represented in, and constructed by, some of the most significant popular culture artifacts in contemporary Western culture.

Through readings of racialized television sitcoms, LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream American music, the role of Black Panther in Western imperialist projects, and self-love narratives promoted by social media influencers, it demonstrates how novice and emerging researchers can use intersectional theory as an analysis method in the field of cultural studies. The case studies presented are contextualized through a brief history of intersectional theory, a methodological rationale for its use in relation to popular culture, and a review of the ethical considerations researchers should take before, during, and after they approach popular artifacts.

Intended to be a text book for novice and emerging researchers across a wide range of social science disciplines, this book serves as a practical guide to uncover the multiple and interlocking ways oppression is reified, resisted and/or negotiated through popular culture.


If the great Stuart Hall taught us anything, he taught us that theory has to matter. Intersectional Analysis as a Method to Analyze Popular Culture shows us how theory matters in popular culture when intersectionality and justice is at the center of the work. This book dares us to look at ourselves as cultural beings consuming popular culture in the matrix. This book is required reading for individuals and classes seeking to make sense of popular culture and all its complexities by way of intersectional analysis. It pushes us to question how we work to maintain, resist, and negotiate text, and thus, power.

Bettina L. Love, Associate Professor, University of Georgia

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Methodological Rationale

Chapter 3. Ethics and Popular Culture: What are the Boundaries?

Chapter 4. Reading Television Sitcoms Intersectionally

Chapter 5. Reading Popular Music Intersectionally

Chapter 6. Reading Film Intersectionally

Chapter 7. Reading Social Media Intersectionally

Chapter 8. Epilogue

About the Authors

Erica B. Edwards is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Wayne State University. Her research focuses on the educative value of television, film, and music from a Black feminist perspective. She takes interest in bridging the divide between schools and popular culture—particularly through critical media literacy.

Jennifer Esposito is a professor of educational policy studies at Georgia State University. Her research includes the ways race, class, gender, and sexual orientation shape one’s access to and experience within all levels of education. She also interrogates how popular culture functions an educative site.

About the Series

Futures of Data Analysis in Qualitative Research

The books in the series Futures of Data Analysis in Qualitative Research document the various ways in which qualitative researchers approach data analysis within the context of qualitative inquiry. The series specifically encourages work done from various intersected margins which focus on ways in which a researcher might have had to break rank with traditions, established practices, or privileged, dominant approaches. The books consider multiple aspects including, but not limited to, role of theory, ethics, positionality, processes and their role in generating insights.

While the emphasis of the series is analysis, books in the series could also subvert how analysis is understood and practiced in qualitative inquiry if established discourses are incommensurable for their specific inquiries. Focusing on non-traditional or reconfiguration of the familiar in analysis, the series encourages books written from various interpretive, critical, deconstructive, or other contemporary orientations. The books not only offer narrative details of qualitative data analysis process with examples, but also new ontoepistemic, theoretical, methodological, and substantive knowledge.

For more information about the series or to submit a book proposal, please contact Series Editor Kakali Bhattacharya,

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