About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7415-7424
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

FROM LIBERAL THINKER TO FEMINIST RESEARCHER: REFLECTIONS OF A MALE CONDUCTING FEMINIST RESEARCH

G. Edwards, J. Perumal

University of Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
Fischer (2006) records that for some interest in feminist research originated around the time of the feminist revolution of the 1960s (p. 146). With the benefit of focussed effort and critical discourse for over half a century, feminist research has evolved into a dynamic and future orientated field of study, exploring numerous, sometimes surprising directions. The tenets of feminist research privilege the experiences of woman in social settings and seek to understand the oppression of women and power imbalances. Embracing feminist research, and as an activist for social justice, this paper seeks to present an autobiographical reflection of my journey as a male researcher conducting feminist research in disadvantaged rural school communities.

Conscious of my positionality as a male researcher, the aim of the study was to investigate a feminist approach to educational leadership in rural disadvantaged communities in South Africa.

Feminist research has encompassed different viewpoints with findings from various fields, traditions and schools of thought. Female writers, theorists and scholars have dominated feminist research. Whilst this is true in the main, Khan (2014) argues that although “men have deliberately been excluded from the domain of feminist research on grounds that men lack insight into women’s experiences”, there is “no justification to exclude men from researching women” [2]. Concurring with Khan, yet mindful of the prevailing sensitivities, this paper explores male researcher positionalities in feminist research.

This was a qualitative research study that was nested within critical feminist research [3]. Drawing on feminist research theories and critical race theory, this paper is framed by autobiographical research methodology. The paper is written in relation to the experiences of a male researcher conducting feminist research on sixteen female educational leaders leading in disadvantaged education contexts.

The significance of the study lies in the unique selection of schools, the combination of socio-economic and geographical factors and that feminist research being conducted by a male researcher. This autobiographical reflection provides insights into the experiences of a male researcher conducting feminist research in unfamiliar settings. The complexities of the research sites are manifested through a critical reflection of race, gender, economics, politics and geographical location.

References:
[1] Fischer, C. T. (2006). Qualitative research for psychologists. London: Elsevier Inc.
[2] Khan, A. R. (2014). Men in Feminist Research: Debates over Exclusion and Inclusion. Retrieved from http://worldconferences.net/proceedings/icssr2014/toc/papers_icssr2014/IC%20062%20ANISUR%20RAHMAN.pdf.
[3] Skelton, C., Francis, B. and Smulyan. (2006). The SAGE handbook of gender and education. London: Sage Publications.
@InProceedings{EDWARDS2015FRO,
author = {Edwards, G. and Perumal, J.},
title = {FROM LIBERAL THINKER TO FEMINIST RESEARCHER: REFLECTIONS OF A MALE CONDUCTING FEMINIST RESEARCH},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {7415-7424}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Edwards AU - J. Perumal
TI - FROM LIBERAL THINKER TO FEMINIST RESEARCHER: REFLECTIONS OF A MALE CONDUCTING FEMINIST RESEARCH
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 7415
EP - 7424
ER -
G. Edwards, J. Perumal (2015) FROM LIBERAL THINKER TO FEMINIST RESEARCHER: REFLECTIONS OF A MALE CONDUCTING FEMINIST RESEARCH, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 7415-7424.
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