Feminist Approaches To Theory And Methodology
(Oxford University Press, 1999)
Edited by Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Christina Gilmartin, Robin Lydenberg
Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology addresses the theoretical issues raised by doing feminist research from an interdisciplinary perspective. Bringing together the work of leading scholars and emerging new critics, the editors have selected the best, most representative and recent work in feminist scholarship.
The collection is organized around key issues in feminist theory and empirical research as impacted by post-structuralist dialogue. Several essays address the tensions between disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge building, exposing male biases embedded in disciplinary paradigms. Other essays deal with dramatic changes in two foundational concepts in feminist theory—identity and experience—which are presented not as innate and unproblematic, but as constituted by discourse, representation, and the effects of power. Additional essays examine the complex terrain in which differences within and between women are used as tools of oppression and of resistance both inside and outside feminist praxis. These essays uncover a subtext of racial anxiety, offering critical insights for academic and social change.
The gender dynamics of power and resistance are taken up by several critics whose research encourages the development of a feminist scholarly methodology that focuses on women's subjective experiences, the ways in which they mediate relations of power, and their capacity for implementing personal and collective activism. These essays deal with the importance in feminist scholarship of resisting the inclination to view women as passive and powerless victims. Another major focus of the volume brings together visual and discursive representations of the female body in which heterosexuality and reproduction are imposed as the norm.
The volume concludes with a set of essays which presents students with some methodological and political dilemmas feminists encounter as they expose the underlying ideological distortions in existing social policies. Distinct for its interdisciplinary scope as well as its global orientation, Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology is an ideal text for courses in a wide range of social science and humanities disciplines including research methods and women's studies.