Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

An Intersectional Analysis of Precarity and Exploitation: Women and LGBTQIA+ Workers in Substate Neoliberal Systems

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Abstract:  The intersection of gender and ethnicity or race lies at the root of structural discrimination and racist practices for accessing the labor market and in the workplace. This discrimination is particularly evident for women and LGBTQIA+ individuals who either belong to ethnic minorities or are migrants. However, numerous other social drivers (e.g., age, class, origins) and external factors (e.g., prejudices, gender‐based violence) further hinder their participation in the work domain and their attainment of fair labor conditions. This article explores how gender, ethnicity, and race intersect and operate with other conditions and factors to perpetuate the precarity and exploitation of women and LGBTQIA+ individuals who find themselves at the nexus of varied intersectional axes. The discussion centers around two neoliberal substate units in the Global North (South Tyrol, in Italy, and Catalonia, Spain) that register low unemployment rates and high rates of migration and that are home to historical, linguistic, and ethnic minorities. This empirical article provides for an informed debate on the lived experience of precarity and exploitation of women and LGBTQIA+ workers, and an analysis of how neoliberal substate units’ labor and gender policies could be reformed.

Keywords:  Catalonia; ethnicity; exploitation; gender; intersectionality; LGBTQIA+; precarity; race; social drivers; South Tyrol



© Alexandra Tomaselli. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.