Doing Feminist Research in Political & Social Science

By Stewart-Mailhiot, Amy | Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources, Summer-Fall 2011 | Go to article overview

Doing Feminist Research in Political & Social Science


Stewart-Mailhiot, Amy, Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources


Brooke Ackerly & Jacqui True, DOING FEMINIST RESEARCH IN POLITICAL & SOCIAL SCIENCE. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 272p. bibl. $85.00, ISBN 978-0230507760; pap., $28.00, ISBN 978-0230507777.

When planning a trip to a foreign country, a wise first step is to locate a good guidebook. The same is true when stepping off into the realm of feminist research. Brooke Ackerly (Political Science, Vanderbilt University) and Jacqui True (International Politics, University of Auckland) have written just such a practical travel guide, designed to aid feminist researchers from undergraduates to seasoned professionals.

The authors clearly intend for the book to serve as a "step-by-step guide to feminist research reflection and practice," not as an exhaustive text on feminist theory and methodology (p. 1). The core of the book is the feminist research ethic that is detailed in Chapter 2, which provides a heuristic framework for researchers to use at each stage in reflecting on the elements of power dynamics, stakeholder relationships, and their own subjectivity in relation to their research projects. The authors model this act of reflection throughout with personal examples from their own research experience.

Ackerly and True acknowledge that adhering to a research ethic grounded in reflection means that the research process is seldom linear. …

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