This study was designed to introduce specific activities/lessons to students in an online university gender and communication course. It was also designed to determine how participants made meaning of and felt about learning about intersectionality of gender and cultural identities, using arts-based data collection. Previous research on the symbolic nature of language, ground-breaking work on intersectionality, and work on arts-based research were instrumental frameworks in guiding this study. Participants were asked to create poems in response to their readings of class materials and vignettes about cultural identity issues that were provided to them. The researcher was able to determine how individuals from disparate cultural backgrounds made meaning of what they read and then how they articulated their feelings relative to learning about intersectionality, their experiences with arts-based data collection, and their perceptions of their futures application of the lessons learned. The poetic expression about those experiences provides a valuable initial base for future research with regard to more narrowly focused studies of gender intersected with identities associated with socioeconomic status, age, ableism, religious affiliation, and other cultural identities.
- Intersectionality: an arts-based approach to student awareness