chapter  1
14 Pages

4 FEMINIST METHODOLOGIES

ByMary Jo Neitz

Feminists beginning in the 1960s produced powerful critiques of the male centeredness of society’s institutions. Education, science and the production of knowledge did not escape. Feminists fi rst asked ‘where are the women?’, but soon the question shifted to ‘how do our theories and ways of doing research change, if we assume that gender is important?’ For feminist anthropologists, historians, psychologists and sociologists concerned with doing research that would reduce inequality, these questions led to a critical examination of the research process. Feminist researchers argued that feminist research mandated feminist methods, informed by feminist epistemologies and methodologies. However, agreement about which methods were feminist, and what constituted feminist methodology did not emerge. Lively debates about how feminists gather data, our relationships with those who are the subjects of research, how we write and for whom, continue to inform and challenge those of us who seek to do feminist research.