Doing participatory research: a feminist approach.

Maguire P
Amherst, Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts, School of Education, The Center for International Education, 1987. xiii, 253 p.

At the heart of feminist participatory research is the fundamental question that asks, "what are the implications of our work for the redistribution or consolidation of power among and between the world's women and men?" Participatory or feminist research emerged during the 1970's and is based on a set of social science research that opposes and challenges the dominant male bias in social science research. This study is divided into 10 chapters. The first 4 chapters are a literature review that compares traditional research methodology with alternative systems of knowledge production, along with an extensive bibliography. Chapters 4-8 discusses the male bias in traditional social science research and suggests how feminist research can contribute towards a new approach by using case histories of battered women among the Navajo, Hispanic and Anglo women in New Mexico to demonstrate the creation of participatory research through a feminist perspective where the battered women themselves gained new knowledge and participated as equal partners in the research project. This study developed an explicit framework for feminist participatory research and makes 4 recommendations: 1) participatory researchers (PR) must become familiar with feminist theories and practices; 2) PR need to increase their networks and reach out towards more grassroots feminist communities; 3) PR must challenge each other and remain up-to-date with other PR in the literature; and 4) PR must include feminist PR framework in project planning; implementation and evaluation.

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