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I Introduction Introduction Three challenges to feminist methodology What is gender? What is feminism in the twenty-first century? Are feminists women? What is methodology in social research? Is feminist methodology distinctively feminist? The structure of the book PART I FEMINISM'S ENLIGHTENMENT LEGACY AND ITS CONTRADICTIONS 2 Reason, science and progress: feminism's Enlightenment inheritance Introduction Enlightenment thought Reason, science and progress: how Enlightenment thought has shaped feminist approaches to methodology Modem humanism The long shadow of the Enlightenment: challenges and contradictions at the roots of modem feminist methodology Conclusion 3 Can feminists tell the truth? Challenges of scientific method Introduction Feminist research as a quest for valid knowledge of social realities by a knowing subject Feminist objections to scientific method in social research Objectivity, subjectivity, relativism: competing paths to truth Conclusion 4 From truth/reality to knowledge/power: taking a feminist standpoint Introduction The knowing feminist at the limits of modern methodology A methodological continuum: slipping and sliding on Haraway's greasy pole What is a feminist standpoint? Nancy Hartsock: achieving a feminist standpoint as a vantage point on male supremacy Dorothy Smith: taking women's standpoint; beginning in experience What problems remain? Conclusion PART II FREEDOM, FRAGMENTATION AND RESISTANCE 5 Escape from epistemology? The impact of postmodern thought on feminist methodology Introduction Postmodern thought Postmodern freedoms: sweeping away the foundations of feminist methodology Thus far but no further? Feminist resistance to postmodern thought Conclusion 6 Researching 'others': feminist methodology and the politics of difference Introduction Confronting difference in feminist social research Being different: the constitution of 'otherness' Being different: experiencing and resisting 'otherness' Complications of difference The politics of representing 'others': the privileged researcher The power of interpretation: data analysis Reflexivity in the research process Conclusion 7 Knowledge, experience and reality: justifying feminist connections Introduction The case against taking experience as a source of knowledge A case for taking experience as a source of knowledge The difficulties of connecting experience and material realities Should feminists specify criteria of validity? The idea of a feminist epistemic community Conclusion PART III MEETING CHALLENGES, MAKING CHOICES 8 Choices and decisions: doing a feminist research project Introduction What makes social research feminist? The research process Situating your research question Face to face with the research: data production Face to face with the researched: putting reflexivity into practice Face to face with the data: analysis and conclusions Face to face with a blank sheet: writing up Conclusion 9 Conclusion Glossary References Index