chapter  1
12 Pages

Feminist Qualitative Research as Spiritual Practice: Reflections on the Process of Doing Qualitative Research

In this chapter, I seek to reflect on some of the characteristic features of qualitative research, as represented in the work of feminist practitioners – including the work of the women contributing to this book – and consider how the practice of research both arises out of and feeds back into women’s own ethical and spiritual lives. Both qualitative and feminist researchers are fundamentally concerned with the process(es) of research as an integral aspect of the work. We researchers understand that process and content are integrally interconnected; that feminists are after new ways of knowing – in our case, new ways of doing theology – as much as they are after new knowledge; that, as Audre Lorde famously put it, ‘the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house’,1 or, as qualitative researchers might say, positivist perspectives which assume objectivity, neutrality and detachment on the part of the researcher in the interests of control are not likely to yield liberating results for oppressed groups.