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Feminism

 

Explanations > Social Research > Philosophies of Social Research > Feminism

Principle | Discussion | See also

Principle

Much research has an androcentric (male) bias, which leads to misperceptions about women.

Discussion

Research tries to maintain an unbiased, factual, value-free position. Yet values and bias creep in unnoticed, as we live our life through our schema and scripts.

Feminist Empiricists focus on the science and empiricism, noting the bias and male values that is inherent in this. The fact that many scientists, especially in past centuries, were male did not help this blindness.

Feminist standpoints take particular positions, for example criticizing the subjugation of women in the family home.

Feminist postmodernists take the usual postmodern position of deconstructing and negating all other methods but without putting much in their place. Indeed, it is part of the nature of postmodernism to view confusion as a normal state.

Variations on Feminism include:

  • Feminist empiricism: which sees androcentric science just as 'bad science'.
  • Feminist standpoint: takes various positions, including radical and socialist.
  • Postmodern feminist: criticizes standpoints and see no perfect answer.

Feminism falls down when it seeks to counterbalance rather than equalize. Thus feminists may take an aggressive oppositional stance, but in doing so adopt androcentric methods. By creating an opposite, they perpetuate what they are trying to eradicate, both in copying the methods and in the counter-counteraction that they create (e.g. in Bly's 'Iron John').

Feminism is also the tip of the iceberg and any form of bias can take similar positions, including racism, ageism, etc.

See also

Positivism

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