WSTB05H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Feminist Epistemology
DepartmentWomen's and Gender Studies
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Week 1: Epistemology: is the study of the ways in which knowledge is produced.
Epistemologistys do not take knowledge as the starting point rather knowledge and its
production becomes the object of inquiry.
It involves assumptions about three things:
1. the knowner
2. the known
3. the process of knowing
Feminist epistemology: no value free research.
-social markers inform the research and the way knowledge is produced
-the knowner/know/process are interconnected
-knowledge has a history, is situated and is power. It emphasizes social change and
social justice and equality.
Positivism: that the researchers feelings introduce errors in observation. Quantitative
method. Process of interpretation: data interpreted through mathematical procedures.
Subjectivity is an obstacle to knowledge.
Feminist critique of positivism: claim there is a social truth out there waiting to be
That positivists assumption that the data directly support its hypotheses.
Feminist standpoint epistemology – that knowledge is not produced based on pure
Knowledge is not produced from an objective place
Every knowledge production is the result of subjects who work from a specifiv location,
time and culture.
Problems with standpoint: it collapsed all womens experiences into a single,
homogenous entity, ignored the diversity of womens experiences.
Postmodern epistemology: that women themselves differ greatly in their experiences
- These differences must be operationalized in research
- Even among women there is a process of “othering”
- some categories of women-hood are deemed normal and some abnormal.
Week 4: Five Major Rules When Interviewing:
1. What type of interaction is the interview?
2. Interviewing is a human interaction with all of its uncertainties.
3. The information given from respondents is information like gold.
4. Make sure you have built a rapport with respondents before asking
5. Listen analytically; you are not a recording machine.
a.Consider relationships between words
b. Pay attention to salience, movements, facial expressions
d. Asking for more explanations
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