Feminist Methodology and Health Research: bridging Trends and Debates
Different forms of feminist researches.
o Feminist Empiricism: feminist who adhere/hold to some of the tenants of empiricism.
o Feminist Standpoint Theories: those who argue that empiricism cannot offer a radical
enough analysis of the historical-material circumstances that produce both subjectivities
o Feminist postmodernism: contest the enlightment ideal project and the apparently
apolitical aims of modernity. It refuses anyone theoretical stance and assert that the
multiplicity of knowledge-making practices of not result in universal metanarratives.
o Feminist Postcolonial theory: which sees colonialism and imperialism as critical and
necessary axes of analysis when theorized about women’s lives and experiences.
o Postmodernist and poststructuralist: the reliance on the undifferentiated category of
women has been challenged.
o Feminist methodologist continue to engage in debates about the nature of science,
Women’s health Research
In the late 1990’s there were organization that supported research to addressee how sex and
gender interact with other factors that influences health and create conditions and problem
unique, more prevalence, more serious or difference with respect to risk factors or effective
interventions for women and girls, men and boys.
Diversity and Difference: Re-conceptualizing Women’s Health Research
Diversity in a research is important to help women from different background. Inclusive health
research also requires that the voice from differing perspectives and socio-economic location
shape the doing of the research, including the process of interpreting data.
In Canada existing health research methodologies are often inappropriate for Aboriginal people.
It is not enough to acknowledge differences and diversity without understanding how research
themselves are often implicated in creating relationship of injustices and harm and of creating
Different favoured in general health research:
o Multidisciplinary research: research works in parallel or sequentially from a discipline-
specific base to address the same problem. Not make truly innovative for its resolutions.
EXAMPEL: CIHR o Interdisciplinary Research: when researchers from tow or more disciplines work jointly on a
particular problem and collaborate in the design of research strategies and in the analysis of
o Transdisciplinary research: in which researches work jointly from a shared conceptual
framework that draws together discipline-specific theories, concepts and approaches to
addresses a particular problem.
Time and commitments for researcher beside from funding agencies, and traditional
institutional structure has become a problem for different researches that are working together.
Research Methodologies and Methods
The Qualitative/ Quantitative Debate
Women’s health acknowledges the need for both qualitative and quantitative methods to
address the complexities of women health. ( GO TO PAGE 108: A VERY GOOD CHART THAT CAN
HELP YOU UNDESTAND THIS BETTER)
o Quantitative Researches: uses methods adopted from approaches used in the physical
science that dram upon logical positivism and are designed to ensure objectivity,
generalizability and reliability. Purpose to produce factual, unbiased, and genealizable.
Those in favour states that, it selects participants through random selection methods. It
influence public policy, sensitive to diversity.... those how are not in favour say that it
decontextualizes human behaviour.
o Qualitative Research: searches for meaning s in specific social/cultural contexts;
possibility of theoretical generalization rejects natural science. 3 philosophies are
foundational. 1) Interpretivism 2) hermeneutics both are concerned with understanding
human behaviour from the actor’s own frame of reference. (feminist see it as useful and
limiting). 3) Social Constructionism: we are all actively engaged in creating knowledge
and that we incent concepts, modles and schemes to make sense of experience, and we
continually test and modify these constructions in the light of new experiences. In
general qualitative include participants ob6servation, interviews, exploratory...
o Mix Methods: most feminist researchers now contend that the use of multiple methods
make for the best research. There is a debate between feminist about which type of
research method gives a better results. Some believe that mix method will provide us
with better knowledge and others suggest that combining research is much more useful
for understanding complex health phenomena.
o EXAMPLE: Eating Disorders: it is well documented that women have a higher rate of
eating disorder. It also has a wide range of psychological, social, and physical effects on
women and men, which includes heart conditions, kidney failure....
o Quantitative: How many? What kind? Strength of association-the number. Meaning it
looks in to the measurable attributes. Measuring eating disorder in different groups of
women and men.
o Qualitative- What? Why? Meaning if something-the text. Looks into detailed description
of situations, interaction, personal histories, and direct quotations from people about their experiences. Interview with women and men about eating disorder to better
understand the social context of their lives.
Mixed Methods: combing both quantitative and qualitative since there is strength and weakness
in both sides. There are number of ways both methods can be combines. 1) Qualitative method
can be used to develop quantitative measures and instruments. 2) in a quantitative study,
qualitative method can be used. 3) Qualitative and Quantitative can be used in ways that can
complement each other.
CHAPTER 4: Post –Colonial Feminist Theoretical Perspective and Women’s Health (Browne, Smye and
Relevancy to women’s health, Theoretical foundations.
Post –colonial theory can be defined as an interdisplinary family of theories that share a
common political and social concern about the legacy of colonialism, and how this continues to
shape peoples lives and life opportunities.
A particular relevant feature of post colonial analysis is the real of women’s health is
foregrounding of colonizing and neo-colonial practices which continue to contract race and
culture as taken for granted categories.
Post –Colonial discourses provide context for understanding the complexities of health and