The study of feminist research methods is a developing, inspiring, and revolutionary academic sub discipline. More and more feminist researchers have slowly gained interest in the relationship between gender and research practices. The primary purpose of this part of the web based project is to discuss the different feminist research methods.


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 scholars.

Further, multiple methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative have produced a collection of mixed results. The limitations of single method studies can be resolved by the innovative use of triangulation.


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.

By understanding the many relevant feminist research methods for women's liberation, feminist researchers have also established different ways of dealing with the inequalities concerned with research. The different ways feminists deal with variation is to study their own personal experiences, preferences and environments along with other researchers giving them a helping hand and support when necessary.











Jatinder Gill

York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3