Feminist Theory

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What makes feminist research feminist? Having read through a wide range of feminist research papers as well as feminist essays on methods and methodology, it has become apparent that what makes feminist research uniquely feminist are the motives, concerns and knowledge brought to the research process. Certain themes seem to consistently arise when authors attempt to define feminist research. While there is no standard agreement over what constitutes feminist research, many authors seem to draw upon certain elements as defining features to feminist research. These features help distinguish feminist research from traditional social sciences research, research that studies women, and research that attends to gender. Much debate has occurred historically over the definitions and constructions of research terminology. While methods, methodology and epistemology are all connected and interrelated as research concepts, they are separate and distinct terms that refer to different aspects of research as process. Methods are the tools and techniques used to gather evidence, information and data. Methods are the research practices chosen by the researcher, be it qualitative or quantitative methods. Methodology addresses theoretical questions about the study of research and how research is done. Sandra Harding suggests in the introduction to Feminism and Methodology: "A methodology is a theory and analysis of how research does and should proceed" (Harding, 1987, p. 3). Epistemology concerns theories about knowledge construction by questioning whose knowledge is validated and what constitutes knowledge. It is the philosophy of knowing, the construction and authentication of certain forms of knowledge. Qualitative research thus refers to the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols and descriptions of things. In contrast, quantitative research refers to counts and measures of thing  While doing qualitative research, I am seeking, through...
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