Liberating Method: Feminism and Social Research / Edition 1

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Feminist scholars, and those inspired by other liberatory movements, have raised profound questions about the standard practices of social research. Arguing that established methods too often ignore and obfuscate social oppression, they search for approaches that will more adequately represent marginalized groups and the social processes that organize their lives. Liberating Method charts one researcher's view of this project as Marjorie L. DeVault, one of the leading practitioners and teachers of feminist methodology, examines in her collection of new and previously published essays the dimensions of feminist research.

DeVault believes in "writing carefully, " that is with care (precision) and caring (empathy). In addition to essays on how women write, are silenced, and can speak up, she includes an autobiographical sketch, a discussion of "the self as resource, " and a section on what she calls "excavation, " or the work of recovering unrecognized or suppressed aspects of women's experience. She explores the sources and meanings of feminist methodology, the strategies of reflexive analysis, and the issues that arise when writing and teaching feminist research. Committed to a feminism attentive to oppressions that operate simultaneously with gender, DeVault considers exclusions and distortions in feminist research and strategies for building more inclusive approaches. Including a closing essay that presents "practical advice" for oppositional researchers, Liberating Method reflects DeVault's conviction that feminist insights can and should contribute to a sounder, more rigorous social science.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566396981
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 6/22/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 275
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I Introduction 1
1 Becoming a Feminist Scholar: A Second-Generation Story 5
Pt. II What is feminist methodology? 21
2 Talking Back to Sociology: Distinctive Contributions of Feminist Methodology 25
3 Institutional Ethnography: A Strategy for Feminist Inquiry 46
Pt. III Excavation 55
4 Talking and Listening from Women's Standpoint: Feminist Strategies for Interviewing and Analysis 59
5 Ethnicity and Expertise: Racial-Ethnic Knowledge in Sociological Research 84
Pt. IV The self as resource 105
6 Novel Readings: The Social Organization of Interpretation 109
7 Whose Science of Food and Health? Narratives of Profession and Activism from Public Health Nutrition 139
Pt. V Writing and rhetorical strategy 157
8 Women Write Sociology: Rhetorical Strategies 161
9 Metaphors of Silence and Voice in Feminist Thought 175
10 Speaking Up, Carefully: Authorship and Authority in Feminist Writing 187
Pt. VI Craft knowledge of feminist research 193
11 From the Seminar Room: Practical Advice for Researchers 195
App. A List of Data for Sources in Chapter 6: Commentary on The Late Bourgeois World 233
App. B Readings for a Seminar on "Feminist Methodologies" 234
Notes 239
References 247
Index 269
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