Equality and Diversity in Work and Employment BUIRA Study Group workshop – Intersectionality in the study of work and industrial relations

Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch


The workshop will facilitate a safe space and encourage reflexive thinking about the meanings and practicalities of intersectional research in the study of work and industrial relations. Scholars continue to make compelling cases for intersectional research (Lee and Tapia, 2021; McBride and Rodriguez, forthcoming), and greater reflection on the intersectional dynamics present in fieldwork experiences (Rodriguez and Ridgway, 2023), and there is much scope for interrogating how intersectionality can be embedded within industrial relations scholarship. The workshop will provide participants with an accessible opportunity to reflect on the issues that may arise in designing intersectional research that makes visible, and supports the addressing of, intersectional inequalities. A vignette exercise will be used to support reflexivity. The vignette to be discussed is adapted from Hudson et al.’s (2013) qualitative research on in-work poverty, ethnicity, and workplace cultures. It engages with the workplace oppression of ethnic minority women and the role of researchers in supporting organisational responses. Vignettes are short stories, describing a typical scenario and asking respondents to react, for instance by saying what the people involved should do next, or what they would do themselves in the circumstances described. They are used in research to explore attitudes to situations which the respondent may (or may not) have encountered in their own lives, and to highlight individual and group values by making explicit the rationale underlying certain courses of action. One of their advantages is enabling respondents to talk about potentially sensitive topics in a ‘safe’ manner. They can provide information or support discussion not only on why a certain course of action might be preferred, but also on the reasons why alternative courses of action would be rejected or not considered (Finch, 1987). Vignettes have been deployed in research exploring sensitive issues around fairness at work and discrimination (see for example Hudson et.al, 2007; Hudson et.al, 2006; Hudson et al 2013). The workshop is for anyone interested in intersectionality and intersectional analysis, and whose interest may be longer-standing, or raised by the BUIRA plenaries in recent years or the Intersectionality and Industrial Relations BUIRA webinar held in November 2022.
Finch, J. (1987) ‘Research note: the vignette technique in social research’ Sociology, 21(1).
Hudson, M. Netto, G. Sosenko, F. Noon, M. de Limi, P. Gilchrist, A. and Kamenou, N. (2013) In-work Poverty, Ethnicity and Workplace Cultures. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Hudson, M. Barnes, H. Brooks, S. and Taylor, R. (2007) Race discrimination claims: unrepresented claimants' and employers' views on Acas' conciliation in employment tribunal cases. London: Acas
Hudson, M., Barnes, H., Ray, K. and Phillips, J. (2006) Ethnic Minority Perceptions and Experiences of Jobcentre Plus. Department for Work and Pensions Research report No. 349.
Lee, T. and Tapia, M. (2021). Confronting Race and Other Social Identity Erasures: The Case for Critical Industrial Relations Theory. ILR Review. 74(3).
McBride, A and Rodriguez, JK (forthcoming) Intersectionality and Industrial Relations. BUIRA.
Rodriguez, JK and Ridgway, M. (2023) Intersectional Reflexivity: Fieldwork experiences of ethnic minority women researchers. Gender, Work and Organisation [in press]
Period5 Jul 2023
Event typeConference
LocationBristol, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • intersectionality
  • industrial relations
  • reflexivity
  • intersectional research

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Work and Equalities Institute