Re-thinking what we do and how we do it: a study of reproductive decisions

Authors

  • DAWN CURRIE

    1. >University of Saskatchewan
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    • *A number of people have assisted in the development of this paper. I would like to thank in particular Leslie Sklair (London School of Economics), Bev Pain, Leslie Biggs, Gwenna Moss, Trina Vicq, Helen Myers (University of Saskatchewan), and Roberta Hamilton (Queen's University). This article was received in May, 1987 and accepted in August, 1987.


Abstract

La promotion de la méthodologie comme une fin en soi a fourvoyé le féminisme dans une voie sans issue. Ainsi, Stanley et Wise (1983) soutiennent que la conscience féministe est ‘une façon de conduire la recherche féministe,’ qui se doit de rejeter ľorientation masculiniste aux structures. Selon elles, la recherche féministe ne peut ni ne doit ‘dépasser’ le domaine de ľexpérience personnelle. A partir de ma recherche en cours, sur la prise de décisions dans le domaine de la reproduction, je sugge au contraire qu'il est nécessaire de transcender les univers personnels des femmes. A ce titre, on pourra mieux comprendre les débats entre le ‘scientisme masculin’ et les méthodologies féministes du personnel, dans la perspective logico-déductive du test de théories établies au préalable, plutôt que dans celle de la découverte de théories de facçn inductive. Le débat ainsi posé, nos choix doivent se justifier selon des critères pratiques, plutôt que de rectitude politique.

This paper examines the current impasse which feminism has created by promoting methodology as an end in itself. Stanley and Wise (1983), in particular, argue that feminist consciousness is a ‘way of doing feminist research’ which must reject a masculinist structure-orientation. Challenging their claim that feminist research cannot and should not ‘go beyond’ the realm of personal experience, the author discusses her current research on reproductive decision-making which highlights the necessity of transcending the strictly personal worlds of women. The author argues that debates about ‘masculine scientific’ versus ‘feminist personal’ methodologies are better understood in the context of testing established theory through logio-deductive research as opposed to the discovery of grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) through an inductive approach. From this perspective, debates concern the practical rather than the political correctness of our choices.

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