There are various feminist research methods that exist
today which are used for data gathering and analysis. Feminist researchers
can undertake research using two fundamental approaches; firstly,
by using the traditional research process referred to as "quantitative"
methodology or by using the "qualitative" ethnographic method. Quantitative
methods includes, "in depth research into the motivation, attitudes
and behaviour of respondents or into a given situation" Joppe.
Qualitative methods refers to "research procedures which produce descriptive
data: peopleıs own written or spoken words and observable behavior" Jayaratne, p.145. In the past several
years the feminist community has increasingly debated the merits of
traditional research, specifically the quantitative methodologies
used in that research. According to "many feminists, both those in
the social sciences and in other disciplines as well, argue that traditional
research in the social sciences is used as a tool for promoting sexist
ideology and ignores issues of concern to women and feminists" Jayaratne,
p.140. Feminists indicate that until recently, social scientific
knowledge was based on menıs experiences of the world and womenıs
experiences were particularly missing. Males are establishing the
norms; more specifically they are playing the dominant roles. As a
result of this, some feminists have suggested the increased use of
qualitative research in order better to reflect the nature of human
experience. According to Cirksena
and Cuklanz, both on the quantitative
and on the interpretive fronts, feminist insights have had little
impact. Quantitative research consists
of experimental, correlational and survey research methodologies.
Qualitative research consists of ethnographic methods such as, participant
observation, in-depth interviews, group interviews and content analysis.
A more detailed description of the various feminist research methods
is discussed using references by Liesbet Van Zoonen and many other
Since feminists encounter specific methodological
problems, feminists have been involved to develop newer approaches
for doing feminist research. Of these many feminists, Maria Mies is
one that introduces a new methodological approach "consistent with
the political aims of the womenıs movement" Mies,
p.118. Other feminists such as, Brenda
Dervin and Nina Gregg also discuss
their approaches to feminist methodology.