Feminist Methodology and its Discontents

Naples, N. (2007). “Feminist Methodology and its Discontents.” In W. Outhwaite, & Stephen P. Turner (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Social Science Methodology. (pp. 547-565) London, England: SAGE Publications Ltd.

This book chapter focuses on how feminist theories of knowledge guide the choice of different methodologies and to implement how feminists implement particular methods. The chapter begins with a historical background of feminist methodology, she describes feminist theory as having emerged from diverse struggles against hegemonic forms of power and modes of knowledge production that render women’s lives and other marginal groups invisible .The author also outlines how researchers theorize from their experiences. In terms of ethics, reflexivity and objectivity is discussed in relation to feminist methodology. The author argues that by adopting reflexive approaches, feminist researchers work to reveal the inequalities and processes of domination that shape the research process. Power influences how problems are defined and how research is constructed. Further, the chapter discusses the postmodern and postcolonial challenges to feminist methodology. Finally, ways through which research can drive social change are detailed.
Ethics: the author mentions how the researcher’s theoretical assumptions influence their role in research, what they consider ethical research practices, how they interpret and implement informed consent and how they ensure the confidentiality of their research subjects.

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