Context Map: Toward an Integral Intersectionality

This project aims to create a comprehensive analysis capturing a wide array of factors influencing human experience and identity. This initiative seeks to elevate traditional DEI approaches by introducing the concept of a “Kosmic Address,” viewing each person as a unique constellation of various traits and qualities.

The concept of a Kosmic Address posits that every individual can be understood as a specific point in a vast, multidimensional space, defined by their unique combination of traits and qualities across multiple spectrums. This includes factors like developmental stages, quadrant dynamics, types of intelligence, and more. It’s akin to a complex, dynamic coordinate system that pinpoints the exact ‘location’ of an individual in the Kosmos of human experiences.

Enhanced Intersectionality
Incorporating the notion of a Kosmic Address leads to a more powerful and inclusive understanding of intersectionality. It recognizes that individuals are not just a sum of separate attributes like race, gender, or class, but are instead complex amalgamations of multiple, interwoven dimensions. This perspective allows for a deeper appreciation of the unique pathways and experiences of individuals, acknowledging that each person’s Kosmic Address is a singular combination that cannot be fully replicated.

This tool is designed to facilitate a richer understanding of human diversity, enabling individuals and organizations to approach DEI with a more integral, holistic perspective.

Applications in DEI
This enhanced approach transcends traditional DEI models, promoting a more inclusive, comprehensive understanding of identity. It empowers the recognition and celebration of each individual’s unique Kosmic Address within the tapestry of human diversity.

Core Questions:
This map offers an in-depth exploration of each set of types, subtypes, and identify factors, shedding light on their significance, influence, and implications. We do so by asking the following core questions:

  • What are the defining attributes and features of each subtype within this category?
  • How do these subtypes intersect or interact with other factors or categories in an individual's identity?
  • How do these subtypes shape an individual's sense of self and influence their behavior and choices?
  • What role do these subtypes play in shaping cultural and societal norms, values, and structures?
  • How does an individual's experience of each subtype evolve as they progress through major stages of development?
  • How should Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) frameworks adapt to include and recognize these subtypes?
  • What challenges and issues may arise in relation to each subtype, and how can they be addressed?
  • What strategies and approaches can be employed to effectively include and integrate these subtypes within diverse contexts?

The project aligns with the integral vision of recognizing the multidimensionality of human beings. By adopting the concept of Kosmic Address, it contributes to a more nuanced, empathetic, and effective way of engaging with diversity, equity, and inclusion, encouraging a deeper respect for the vast spectrum of human experience.

In our comprehensive exploration of human identity and experience through the concept of a “Kosmic Address,” it’s vital to recognize that the myriad typological factors we’ve outlined play a significant role in shaping individual life paths and choices. This multifaceted approach helps in understanding why certain groups may be underrepresented or overrepresented in specific fields or vocations.

While recognizing the potential impact of systemic barriers and oppression, it’s equally important to consider that a range of typological factors, including physical, psychological, developmental, and cultural types, among others, significantly influence individual predispositions and choices. For instance, the underrepresentation of a particular racial group in long-distance running records or the prevalence of one gender in certain professions can often be attributed to a constellation of these typological factors, rather than solely to systemic oppression.

This nuanced understanding aids in evaluating the concept of “equal outcomes” as a measure of “equal opportunities.” Equal outcomes can indeed serve as a useful barometer for assessing the existence of equal opportunities across groups, but this assessment requires a careful consideration of the various typological factors at play. Factors such as inherent physical abilities, cultural influences, personal interests, and psychological predispositions must be factored in to gain a more accurate and holistic understanding of representation in various domains.

Such an approach acknowledges that while striving for equality of opportunity is essential, expecting uniformity in outcomes without accounting for the diversity of human typology may overlook the rich tapestry of individual differences and choices. It emphasizes that equal opportunity should lead to the empowerment of individuals to pursue paths aligned with their unique constellation of traits and preferences, rather than enforcing a uniform distribution across all fields and vocations.

In conclusion, the project’s integral vision, which recognizes the multidimensionality of human beings and their diverse “Kosmic Addresses,” contributes to a more nuanced, empathetic, and effective way of engaging with diversity, equity, and inclusion. This approach encourages a deeper respect for the vast spectrum of human experience, understanding that diversity in outcomes is a natural reflection of the complex interplay of various typological factors shaping each individual’s unique journey.

Hi Sidra. Agree, “equal outcomes” are very difficult to define, let alone achieve in a meaningful way.

I do think it’s an important concept to explore, however, because I think that, if we are doing it right and if we can adjust for all possible variables, “equal outcomes” can be a useful barometer to gauge just how equal opportunities are across different groups and different kinds of life experience. That is, if opportunities are basically equal, and we adjust for all possible factors, then we should expect to see something like equal outcomes. Which is why I try to hold Opportunities and Outcomes as a polarity, rather than an either-or.

And of course, the challenge is the whole “accounting for all possible factors” part, because there are just so many of them, beyond things like race, gender, etc. I came up with one example list here, each of which could come with its own set of predispositions, but surely there are any number of others that could be added.

I really liked an example Keith Martin-Smith gave in his recent presentation. If “equal outcomes” means that we expect to see a 50/50 split of men and women in STEM fields, then no, we are definitely not seeing equal outcomes, because it’s currently 80/20 men to women. However, if we account for the fact that fewer women are choosing to go into STEM fields, choosing other fields instead, so we see that a) 20% of STEM degrees are going to women, and b) 20% of STEM jobs are occupied by women, then those would in fact be equal outcomes!

So I say, prioritize equal opportunities, try to understand the factors that cause some individuals to select certain opportunities over others, and then use “equal outcomes” as a barometer of success.