Developmental psychologists widely recognize that the social structures and inequities of American society influence youth development. A burgeoning body of research also considers how youth marginalized by society critically evaluate societal inequities and take action to change them (critical consciousness, Freire [Education for critical consciousness (Vol. 1). Bloomsbury Publishing.]), suggesting that marginalized youth who are more critically conscious experience improved mental health and better educational and occupational outcomes and are more engaged in traditional forms of civic behavior. The current manuscript critically reviews and extends this area of research from an intersectional perspective. Drawing from core writings in intersectionality and more recent psychological applications, we contend that research on marginalized youth’s critical consciousness could be further strengthened by (1) focusing on marginalizing systems, rather than marginalized individuals; (2) conceptualizing and examining multiple systems of oppression; and (3) paying greater attention to sociohistorical knowledge. We conclude with some initial concrete recommendations for integrating principles of intersectionality into scholarship on youths’ critical consciousness development.
|New directions for child and adolescent development
|Published - Sep 2018
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology