jeudi 15 janvier 2009

Méthodes quantitatives et genre

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Feminism Counts: Quantitative Methods and Gender Research

Despite the growth, and greater acceptance of qualitative approaches, quantification remains the ‘gold standard’ in much social science and policy oriented research. For example, national and international measures of gender equity draw heavily on statistical data and quantitative training is prioritised by the main funder of UK social science studentships (ESRC). Conversely, despite the range of feminists undertaking quantitative research, and despite more recent calls to ‘rehabilitate’ quantitative methods within feminism, the qualitatively devoted feminist researcher remains something of a stereotype. Indeed, the persistence of a division between qualitative and quantitative research has reinforced a host of gendered notions around hard/soft; emotional/rational; and so forth. Given the significance of quantified and quantifiable data to many policy deliberations associated with social justice, and the seeming lack of contemporary feminist attention to quantitative approaches, re-opening debates around feminist epistemologies and feminist empirics in terms of quantitative methodologies is of critical importance.

The proposed special issue will be devoted to exploring the philosophical, epistemological and practical issues that arise for feminists in respect of quantification. It will encourage submissions that critically debate a range of feminist concerns including: ethical and power issues; gender biases in quantitative data sources; the politics of using quantitative tools; issues of intersectionality; and dissemination. Whilst taking its cue from Second Wave feminist critiques of quantification in terms of the critique of ‘malestream’ social science and the objectification and silencing of women’s lives, the special issue will also encourage contributions that explore contemporary debates around the rehabilitation of quantitative research for feminist purposes, particularly in the light of more recent debates around evidence based methodologies. It will also encourage contributions that explore the comparative status of quantitative methods within feminism internationally and across disciplines.
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