Changing Methods

Changing Methods: Feminists Transforming Practice

SANDRA BURT
LORRAINE CODE
Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 384
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2ttjzb
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  • Book Info
    Changing Methods
    Book Description:

    Changing Methodsis a collection of original essays by feminist practitioners, scholars, and activists.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0243-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. 7-12)
    Sandra Burt and Lorraine Code
  4. Chapter One: How Do We Know? Questions of Method in Feminist Practice
    (pp. 13-44)
    LORRAINE CODE

    Non-philosophers tend to think of epistemology—theory of knowledge—as the exclusive concern of one of the most esoteric branches of academic philosophy; hence as a pursuit that is of interest to philosophers alone, with minimal extraphilosophical, practical/activist relevance. And epistemology, together with philosophy of science, is a subdivision of mainstream professional philosophy that remained resistant to feminist intervention long after feminist voices had established themselves within moral-political discourse, in theories of human nature, and in more general critiques of the ingrained misogyny of the philosophical canon.

    Reasons for epistemology’s declared immunity to feminist critique come from different directions. First,...

  5. Chapter Two: Critical Linguistics as Feminist Methodology
    (pp. 45-74)
    SUSAN EHRLICH

    Advocates of non-sexist language reform have generally assumed that language is not a neutral and transparent means of representing social realities. Rather, some have argued that a particular vision of social reality is inscribed in language — a vision of reality that does not serve all of its speakers equally.

    Susan Gal, for example, sees language as serving the interests of the dominant classes, much like other social institutions and practices;¹ in the case of sexist language, language can be said to codify an androcentric worldview. The names that a language attaches to events and activities, especially those related to...

  6. Chapter Three: Further Reflections on the “Unacknowledged Quarantine”: Feminism and Religious Studies
    (pp. 75-104)
    RANDI R. WARNE

    Writing in 1992, canadian historian ruth brouwer lamented the exclusion of the study of religion from Canadian women’s history. Noting the number of U.S. works “highlighting the centrality of religion in women’s lives,” Brouwer made a strong assertion: that “Most of the best-known historians of Canadian women have appeared uninterested in or uneasy with the topic of religion. A few have been perceptively hostile to the subject.”¹ Brouwer took her title from a review of a 1987 collection of articles,Disciplines of Faith: Studies in Religion, Politics, and Patriarchyproduced by the History Workshop Centre for Social History in England....

  7. Chapter Four: Intimate Outsiders: Feminist Research in a Cross-Cultural Environment
    (pp. 105-126)
    LINDA ARCHIBALD and MARY CRNKOVICH

    White feminists working outside of their own culture face certain ethical and methodological challenges. In the case of this chapter, the moment we began writing we were confronted with the contradictions inherent in our location as members of the dominant society attempting to write about our work with women from a minority culture in a way that does not exploit the knowledge they share with us. We have attempted to do this by focusing on our own experience of the research process; that is, the experiences of two southern, white feminists, each of whom has a long history of working...

  8. Chapter Five: Reading Race in Women’s Writing
    (pp. 127-136)
    ARUN P. MUKHERJEE

    Ever since I became conscious that my reading or, rather, my interpretations of the texts I read differed from what my professors at school and the eminent critics’ writings in the library were saying, I have puzzled about the mysterious process that is called reading. When I went to graduate school, it was the author’s intention that determined what the correct, or closest, interpretation was. Or, if that wasn’t available, then we had to follow the directions taken by the eminent critics. My own responses, based on what I would call a gut sense of natural justice, were disallowed by...

  9. Chapter Six: Farm Women: Cultivating Hope and Sowing Change
    (pp. 137-162)
    NETTIE WIEBE

    Canadian feminism owes much to the rich legacy of struggle and thought inherited from the pioneer women who courageously worked for a better life on the farm, lobbied for the right to vote, and fought endlessly against the adversities of nature.

    However, despite a long and illustrious history of struggle, agrarian feminists, like their urban counterparts, have not yet dislodged or transformed the patriarchal structures that characterize their society.¹ The agricultural sector, from the family farm to the corporate agribusiness domain, remains a deeply patriarchal system. So although the current context of farming women is in many ways vastly different...

  10. Chapter Seven: Child Care: A Community Issue
    (pp. 163-194)
    KRISTIN COLWELL

    My thoughts about young families in the 1990s have prompted me to examine the connections that might be developed among feminists, the child-care community, and parents. The nature of the relationship between child caregivers and parents is obvious; the connection to feminism is less obvious. As a feminist early childhood education (ECE) instructor at a community college, I am interested in how these different groups share common ground. One of my goals here is to examine the areas of contact and overlap among child caregivers and feminists.¹

    Feminism is a perspective on social arrangements that seeks not just to promote...

  11. Chapter Eight: Women and Health: A Feminist Perspective on Tobacco Control
    (pp. 195-216)
    LORRAINE GREAVES

    Women’s smoking is often considered simply a health problem, when it is actually a complex political issue. The marketing and promotion of tobacco to women, girls, and specific populations are not only part of a deliberate plan to create addicted markets, but the use of smoking by and its meaning to such groups are also related to life experience.

    While working within the violence against women’s movement, and observing many shelters and centres for abused women, I noticed that both abused women and the workers smoked a great deal. Until recently shelters had few policies and restrictions on smoking because...

  12. Chapter Nine: Don’t Use a Wrench to Peel Potatoes: Biological Science Constructed on Male Model Systems Is a Risk to Women Workers’ Health
    (pp. 217-264)
    KAREN MESSING

    Recently, researchers at the Centre pour l’étude des interactions biologiques entre la santé et l’environnement (CINBIOSE) applied to a government granting agency for money to study the health problems of women entering non-traditional manual jobs.¹ Our hypothesis was that since these jobs had been designed in relation to the average male body, tools and equipment might be the wrong size and shape for the average woman. Women might get musculo-skeletal problems from trying to perform tasks in awkward positions with badly designed equipment. In collaboration with a sociologist, we would also examine resistance to adapting the jobs so that more...

  13. Chapter Ten: Women and Sport: From Liberal Activism to Radical Cultural Struggle
    (pp. 265-300)
    M. ANN HALL

    As a sport feminist, I see my task as advocating for the inclusion of sport on the feminist agenda and ensuring that feminism is part of the sports agenda. Since the early 1970s my academic work has proceeded on basically two fronts. On the one hand, I have been involved in studies and conducted surveys that fall under the broader rubric of social policy research, and more specifically gender equity research. This research has been directed primarily at documenting and explaining the underrepresentation of women in all aspects of sport, from participation to leadership; for example: the place of sport...

  14. Chapter Eleven: Women and Violence: Feminist Practice and Quantitative Method
    (pp. 301-326)
    LORRAINE GREAVES, ALISON WYLIE, CHERYL CHAMPAGNE, LOUISE KARCH, RUTH LAPP, JULIE LEE and BINA OSTHOFF

    The Battered Women’s Advocacy Centre (bwac) in London, Ontario, is a unique non-crisis, non-residential counselling service for battered women. It was established in 1982, at a time when the primary response to battered women in Canada consisted of emergency housing in the form of shelters and transition houses. These services were largely feminist-run and committed to the provision of crisis support for abused women and their children.

    As important as shelters have been and continue to be, they are primarily oriented to providing short-term crisis-intervention services and are usually not in a position to provide continuing support and advocacy for...

  15. Chapter Twelve: The Gender Gap: Re-evaluating Theory and Method
    (pp. 327-356)
    BRENDA O’NEILL

    Feminist researchers use a multiplicity of methods. Shulamit Reinharz, in her recent bookFeminist Methods in Social Research, reviews some of these many methods and concludes, “Social research has many feminist voices. Clearly, there is no single ‘feminist way’ to do research.”¹ In this chapter I argue for including quantitative methods in this diverse set because they present a unique opportunity for conducting research on women in general and their political behaviour in particular. One quantitative method of data gathering, survey research, makes possible the study of samples of individuals in numbers not feasible with other research methods. These large...

  16. Chapter Thirteen: The Several Worlds of Policy Analysis: Traditional Approaches and Feminist Critiques
    (pp. 357-378)
    SANDRA BURT

    In its broadest sense, public policy consists of actions that governments choose to take, as well as actions that they choose not to take; and policy analysts have sought to explain and evaluate these decisions. As these analyses have evolved, most obviously since the emergence of the western welfare state, they have largely excluded women’s interests. To some extent this exclusion can be explained by the relative absence of women from policy-making circles until the early 1980s. But a more powerful and enduring factor was the early adoption of rational, self-interested man as the reference point for both policy development...

  17. Contributors
    (pp. 379-380)
  18. INDEX
    (pp. 381-384)