chapter  5
9 Pages

Feminist perspectives

WithClaire M. Renzetti

This chapter discusses examples of feminist research. Feminists emphasize that no research is completely unbiased or value-free. No matter how objective researchers like to believe they are, they cannot help but be influenced by personal preferences, and aspects of cultural setting and institutional structures in which they live. Feminists challenge researchers to explicitly acknowledge the assumptions, beliefs, sympathies, and potential biases that may influence their work. A number of typologies have been offered in an attempt to classify the many feminist perspectives being applied to the study of social life. In general, liberal feminism may be described as an "equal rights" approach in that the focus is largely on securing the same legal rights for women that men enjoy. One theoretical approach that broadens the scope of patriarchal control is radical feminist criminology. Other feminist criminologists call for even greater attention to the intersection of gender, social class, immigration status, sexuality, emphasizing their interlocking nature in a "matrix of domination".