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Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology

An Interdisciplinary Reader

Edited by Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Christina Gilmartin, and Robin Lydenberg

Publication Date - 29 July 1999

ISBN: 9780195125221

400 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock


Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology addresses the theoretical issues raised by doing feminist research from an interdisciplinary perspective. Bringing together the work of leading scholars and emerging new critics, the editors have selected the best, most representative and recent work in feminist scholarship. The collection is organized around key issues in feminist theory and empirical research as impacted by post-structuralist dialogue. Several essays address the tensions between disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge building, exposing male biases embedded in disciplinary paradigms. Other essays deal with dramatic changes in two foundational concepts in feminist theory--identity and experience--which are presented not as innate and unproblematic, but as constituted by discourse, representation, and the effects of power. Additional essays examine the complex terrain in which differences within and between women are used as tools of oppression and of resistance both inside and outside feminist praxis. These essays uncover a subtext of racial anxiety, offering critical insights for academic and social change. The gender dynamics of power and resistance are taken up by several critics whose research encourages the development of a feminist scholarly methodology that focuses on women's subjective experiences, the ways in which they mediate relations of power, and their capacity for implementing personal and collective activism. These essays deal with the importance in feminist scholarship of resisting the inclination to view women as passive and powerless victims. Another major focus of the volume brings together visual and discursive representations of the female body in which heterosexuality and reproduction are imposed as the norm. The volume concludes with a set of essays which presents students with some methodological and political dilemmas feminists encounter as they expose the underlying ideological distortions in existing social policies. Distinct for its interdisciplinary scope as well as its global orientation, Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology is an ideal text for courses in a wide range of social science and humanities disciplines including research methods and women's studies.

Table of Contents

    I. Feminist Critiques Within The Disciplines
    1. The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles, Emily Martin
    2. Feminist Skepticism and the "Maleness" of Philosophy, Susan Bordo
    3. Feminist History after the Linguistic Turn: Historicizing Discourse and Experience, Kathleen Canning
    II. The Politics Of Identity And Experience
    4. The Evidence of Experience, Joan Scott
    5. Situating Locations: The Politics of Self, Identity, and "Other" in Living and Writing the Text, Jayati Lal
    6. The Construction of Marginal Identities: Working-Class Girls of Algerian Descent in a French School, Catherine Raissiguier
    III. The Social Construction Of Difference
    7. Learning from the Outsider Within: The Sociological Significance of Black Feminist Thought, Patricia Hill Collins
    8. Eating the Other, 'Black Looks: Race and Representation', bell hooks
    9. Feminist Criticism, 'The Yellow Wallpaper,' and the Politics in Color America
    IV. Power And Resistance
    10. Feminism and Empowerment: A Critical Reading of Foucault, Monique Deveaux
    11. Islam and Patriarchy: A Comparative Perspective, Deniz Kandiyoti
    V. Discourses Of The Body
    12. Embodied Geographies: Subjectivity and Materiality in the Work of Ana Mendieta, Anne Raine
    13. The Power of "Positive" Diagnosis: Medical and Maternal Discourses on Amniocentesis, Rayna Rapp
    14. The Psychomorphology of the Clitoris
    VI. Social Policy and Female Agency
    15. Small Happinesses: The Feminist Struggle to Integrate Social Research with Social Activism, Roberta Spalter-Roth & Heidi Hartmann
    16. From Nation to Family: Containing African AIDS, Cindy Patton
    Women Workers and Capitalist Scripts: Ideologies of Domination, Common Interests, and Politics of Solidarity, Chandra Talpade Mohanty

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