ERIC Number: ED184904
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jan-6
Reference Count: 0
Passionate Scholarship--Notes on Values, Knowing and Method in Feminist Social Science.
Du Bois, Barbara
Feminist social science and scholarship must create theory grounded in the actual experience and language of women. Throughout the history of social science, conceptions and theories of female sexuality, psychology, and social roles have derived from men's beliefs about women. The history of social science theory on women proves that science and science-making tend to serve and reinforce dominant social values rather than challenge them. Thus, the problem stems not only from the substance of particular theories but also from the conventions of scientific method: what is considered worthy of study and worthy of knowing, and what is not. Feminism empowers and requires women to think differently about method. Basic questions involve the posing of a meaningful problem then addressing that problem in the manner most consonant with its substance and most likely to lead to relevant answers. The early stages of feminist social science should involve removing the perceptual and conceptual lenses of traditional science and theory in order to generate new concepts. Traditionally, approaches to science have valued objective knowledge, expertise, neutrality, and separateness. These values have been opposed to subjective knowledge, understanding, art, communion, and experience. Feminist social science requires seeing things as they are: whole and complex. This type of passionate scholarship demands rigor, precision, and responsibility in the highest degree. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Symposium on "Feminism and the Philosophy of Science" (Houston, TX, January 6, 1979).