Feminism & research methods

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  • Created by: Tiffany
  • Created on: 27-11-11 00:12


Eichler>>shows how sexism can appear either directly or indirectly at all stages in the research processes through.

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  • ·         Androcentricity this means that they are viewing the world from a male perspective
  • o   E.g. women may be seen as passive objects.
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  •          Overgeneralisation – this means that many studies deal with only one sex, usually men, but present their findings as though they apply to all people
    • E.g. studies of social mobility
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Gender Insensitivity

·         Gender insensitivity – this means that some studies fail to report the gender of respondents.

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Double Standards

  • ·         Double standards – this means that researchers may employ different instruments to measure identical attributes of the sexes
  • o   E.g. status may be measured for men by their occupation and for women by their spouse’s occupation.
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Sex Appropriateness


Sex appropriateness – this means that some sociological literature makes reference to “appropriate sex roles” OR “appropriate gender identity”.

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Sexual dichotomism

Sexual dichotomism – this means that sociology tends to emphasise the difference between the sexes.

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Familism – this means that sociology often uses the family as the basic unit of social analysis. Often experiences and actions are carried out by individuals, not families. The experiences of women are often subsumed within the family.

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language of research


  • The language of research, in particular the formulation of questions, can be directly and indirectly sexist. Direct sexism can occur with “sex-specific” questions
    • E.g. using “he” in questions
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·         Other questions may have a sexist sub-text which implies that only men occupy positions of authority.

o   E.g. “it is acceptable for a woman to hold important political office?”

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