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ERIC Number: ED283858
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Feminist Perspectives on Empowering Research Methodologies.
Lather, Patti
Three topics are discussed: (1) the meaning of feminist research; (2) what can be learned about research practices from feminist efforts to create empowering research designs; and (3) how postmodernism presents challenges to feminist empirical work. Feminist research puts the social construction of gender at the center of one's inquiry in order to correct both the invisibility and distortion of female experience in ways relevant to promoting equality. Feminist empirical work is multi-paradigmatic. In practice or praxis-oriented inquiry, the reciprocally educative process is more important than the product. In feminist inquiry, empowering methods, including dialogue and reflexivity, contribute to consciousness-raising and transformative social action. Interviews with 22 students at 3 points during their participation in an introductory women's studies course provided insights on student resistance to the liberatory curriculum. Both reflexivity and critique are desirable skills for students and faculty. As for the implications of postmodernism on feminist work, feminists are not attempting to substitute a different, more secure foundation for our formerly secure foundations of knowledge and understanding. Rather, they aim to produce an awareness of the complexity, contigency, and fragility of historical and cultural thoughts. Thirteen endnotes provide definitions, background, and commentary; an eight-page bibliography is included. (GDC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, DC, April 20-24, 1987).