Mountain Region Hub Study

Bias, Discrimination, Stigma, and Intersectionality

This study aligns with the Alliance goal of increasing STEM degree completion for students with disabilities by describing barriers and challenges to student success in STEM through an intersectionality lens. Intersectionality theory is inclusive of individual factors associated with holding membership in multiple and often intertwined social as well as the relational and systemic dynamics of power that can lead to bias, stigma, and discrimination (Atewologun, 2018; Cho, Crenshaw, & McCall, 2013; Severs, Celis, & Erzeel, 2016). Since originating in the 1990s (Crenshaw, 1990), an intersectionality lens has been applied broadly across disciplines, including higher education.  However, disability has not widely been considered as an element of intersectionality in higher education (Nichols & Stahle, 2019).