Feminist Research Methodologies

Feminist Research Methodologies:

Feminist research is research that is performed by women who consider as feminists, and that has an exact reasons for knowing (a `why'), specific kinds of questions, matters and topics to be considered about (a`what'), and an identifiable technique of understanding (a `how'), that distinctly draw on women's experience of living in a world in which women are subordinate to men.

Feminist research method:

Feminist Method is a means of conducting of scientific generating and analysis theory from an explicitly Feminist Standpoint. Feminist methodologies are different, but tend to have some general aims or characteristics. These general aims consist of seeking to overcome biases in research, bringing about displaying human diversity, social modify and knowing the position of the researcher. All of these methods should include various parts consisting of: collection of evidence, presentation of data, testing of theories and room for rebuttals. The significance of this method is in how the research is acquired and how this assists the feminist movement. How research is scientifically supported affects the results. Like Consciousness Raising, some feminist methods affect the collective emotions of women, while things like political statistics are further of a structural result. While knowledge is either produced through experiences, or discovered, this requires to both being valid and reliable.

Principles of Feminist Research:

This is frequently taken for granted that feminist research obtains an anti-quantitative attitude and thus abstains from all principles of research and quantitative standards. Feminists are generally thought to abstain from obtaining some interest in validity, measurement, representativeness, objectivity, and reliability generalization. Though, several feminists may do same, in the majority of conditions this assumption is not proper.

Feminist researchers who obey the interpretive or constructionist paradigm accept these principles, and make sure that reliability, objectivity, validity and the same standards are considered. We shall notice later, while we address these principles, those researchers of both research models adhere to most research principles, during their own manner. They may not consider the conditions beneath the principles that are followed, but nevertheless, they value that principle in their own context.

Methods and methodology:

Feminist researchers, depending upon their explanation of `feminism', will increase techniques and preferences for methods which they observe as yielding the suitable results for women. Several women may utilize collect numerical information, standard surveys and carry out statistical computations, in order to establish issues of extent or amount relating women's position v is a v is men's.  Others will assume secondary analysis of documentary material and research or develop new policy and policy papers and assess its impact upon the position of women. The other women will concentrate on directly hearing the stories of women-perhaps utilizing more or less in-depth ethnographies or interviews, recording verbal information and publishing and writing them up. Now others will work more as members of assembly of women doing their own self-directed research; greatly as did the CR groups of early `second wave' feminism. Each of these methods and techniques carry on to be subjected to healthy internal debate about whether or not, and in what manners, they may additionally alternatively or perpetuate contribute to interrupting patterns of women’s oppression.

Is there a Feminist Methodology?

The question of whether feminism has produced distinct methodological standards that could justify the establishment of a different methodology alongside the quantitative, qualitative or critical paradigms is by no way new. Claims for a different place in the ranks of methodologies and paradigms were made long ago, and are now being made. The responses to these claims are diverse, along with several arguing in favor and others against that recognition.

Arguments in favor of a feminist methodology:

Those in favor of a feminist methodology argue, between other things that are as:

A) Feminism has developed a characteristic approach which is valid and also dissimilar from the approaches of another methodology. This approach refuses the male paradigm and the related methodology and deserves a place in social methodology like a part and different entity.

B) A feminist methodology places emphasis on women and their location in society and contrasts it along with the emphasis on males which prevails in another methodology.

C) This illustrates the world in an individual way (for instant, based upon patriarchy) that guides the process and structure of research, the option and categories of methods utilized, and the manner the results are interpreted and analyzed.

D) Feminist researchers point to regions in which ethical standards are being violated. These violations create or perpetuate forms of oppression of and discrimination against women, for instance, utilizing sexist language which perpetuates female subjugation, utilizing unfair practices associated to publication of feminist works, intervening in the respondents’ lives and preservation information from women subjects.

E) The purposes of feminist research are to empower women to modify exploitative and oppressive conditions, to offer visions for the future and to deal with the policy complications of research.

Arguments against a feminist methodology:

More conservative are the visions of the critics of a feminist methodology, several of whom argue bluntly such a methodology is not justified. Several of the arguments against a feminist methodology are represented below as:

A)  Feminists do not comprise a perspective of their own; fairly, they utilized methodological and theoretical principles of other paradigms, like: Marxism, critical theory, naturalism and psychoanalysis. Without consisting of distinct principles this is impossible to claim a different methodology.

B) There is only ‘a multiplicity of standpoints, values, outlooks in between feminists’ (Assiter, 1996: 8). Feminists are extremely diverse like: Marxist feminists, empiricist’s feminists, liberal feminist, psychoanalytic feminists, postmodern feminists, post structural feminists, and do not show ‘a coherent and cogent option to non-feminist research’ (Hammersley, 1992a: 202).

C) Several of the criteria and principles on that feminist research is based, and several of the methods they utilize, are determined in the non-feminist research domain and do not assist a convincing argument supportive of a feminist methodology (Hammersley, 1992a: 202).

D) Individual attention to gender is not justified; still post-structural feminists (Alcoff, 1988: 407) argue such a practice and proposition must be reconsidered and replaced through an emphasis on a plurality of dissimilarities.

E) Its objection to positivistic methodological practices, like: the value of method versus experience, its emancipation, its objectivity as a goal of research or a principle of validity, and the association among researcher and researched (hierarchy) that several theorists utilize as a justification for a feminist methodology, are each questionable (Hammersley, 1992a). Apart from this, one main branch of feminist research is based upon feminist empiricism that is not extremely dissimilar from the positivist paradigm.

F) Why methodology? It is a male invention, separately of the oppressive male paradigm, that feminists refuse. Why do feminists want to turn into a part of an establishment they refuse?

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