Vulnerability and vulnerable groups from an intersectionality perspective

Christian Henrik Alexander Kuran (Corresponding Author), Claudia Morsut, Bjorn Ivar Kruke, Marco Krüger, Lisa Segnestam, Kati Orru, Tor Olav Naevestad, Merja Airola, Jaana Keränen, Friedrich Gabel, Sten Hansson, Sten Torpan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    125 Citations (Scopus)


    In general, the identification and protection of vulnerable groups in the case of hazards or when a crisis unfolds is an issue that any crisis and disaster risk management should address, since people have different levels of exposure to hazards and crises.
    In this article, we promote the application of the intersectionality perspective in the study of vulnerable groups, and we call for intersectionality as a guiding principle in risk and crisis management, to provide a better and more nuanced picture of vulnerabilities and vulnerable groups. This can help national and local authorities and agencies to formulate specific guides, to hire staff with the skills necessary to meet particular needs, and to inform vulnerable groups in a particular way, taking into account the differences that may coexist within the
    same group. Intersectionality allows us to read vulnerability not as the characteristic of some socio-demographic groups. It is rather the result of different and interdependent societal stratification processes that result in
    multiple dimensions of marginalisation. In this vein, we argue that research should focus on 1) self-perceived vulnerability of individuals and an intersectionality approach to unpack vulnerable groups; 2) cases of crises
    according to the level and/or likelihood of individual exposure to hazards, to better nuance issues of vulnerability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number101826
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    The study was funded by the Horizon2020 project BuildERS , Grant agreement ID: 833496.


    • social vulnerability
    • vulnerable groups
    • intersectionality


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