Just Methods: An Interdisciplinary Feminist Reader, With a New Introduction and Chapter on Learning from Practice

Book Info

  • Length: 528 pages
  • Trim size: 7" x 10"

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  • ISBN: 978-1-61205-303-5
  • Publish date: July 2013
  • List Price: $64.95
  • Your Price: $55.21


The supplemented edition of this important reader includes a substantive new introduction by the author on the changing nature of feminist methodology. It takes into account the implications of a major new study—included for this first time in this book—on poverty and gender (in)equality, and it includes an article discussing the ways in which this study was conducted using the research methods put forward by the first edition. This article begins by explaining why a new and better poverty metric is needed and why developing such a metric requires an alternative methodological approach inspired by feminism.

Feminist research is a growing tradition of inquiry that aims to produce knowledge not biased by inequitable assumptions about gender and related categories such as class, race, religion, sexuality, and nationality.

Just Methods is designed for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in a range of disciplines. Rather than being concerned with particular techniques of inquiry, the interdisciplinary readings in this book address broad questions of research methodology. They are designed to help researchers think critically and constructively about the epistemological and ethical implications of various approaches to research selection and research design, evidence-gathering techniques, and publication of results.

A key theme running through the readings is the complex interrelationship between social power and inequality on the one hand and the production of knowledge on the other. A second and related theme is the inseparability of research projects and methodologies from ethical and political values.

  • Includes an exciting new study on poverty and gender inequality.
  • New introduction details how methods can be put into practice.
  • Covers central topics comprehensively.
  • Provides clearly written and substantive introductions with conceptual tools for critically analyzing methodological issues.
  • Emphasizes the inseparability of sex/gender constructions from other structures of inequality, such as race, class, and nation.
  • Links ethical and political values with epistemic questions of credibility and reliability.
  • Surveys “feminists rethinking” issues such as empiricism, postmodernism, and democratization.
  • Selects key writings by preeminent authors including Lourdes Benería, Patricia Hill Collins, Stephen J. Gould, Sandra Harding, Naheed Islam, Patricia Maguire, Vandana Shiva, Abigail J. Stewart, Barrie Thorne, and Maxine Baca Zinn, among many more—45 authors in all.

Author Info

Alison M. Jaggar is Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the author of Feminist Frameworks, (edited with Paula Rothenberg, 1978, 1984, 1993) (McGraw Hill, 1993); Feminist Politics and Human Nature (Rowman and Littlefield, 1988); Living with Contradictions: Controversies in Feminist Social Ethics, (Westview Press 1994); and The Blackwell Companion to Feminist Philosophy, (edited with Iris M. Young, 1998) (Blackwell, 1999).



Just Methods is a wonderful resource for interdisciplinary women’s studies courses. This revised edition is even better than the excellent earlier edition that was mandatory reading for my Feminist Methods course.”
Amrita Basu, Domenic J. Paino 1955 Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies, Amherst College

“A crucial exploration of the central concern of methodology within feminist scholarship. . . . The volume makes a powerful argument for attending carefully to the ways in which knowledge is produced and shared.”
Ann J. Cahill, Professor of Philosophy, Elon University


“Jaggar edits an essential resource for instruction on feminism and methodologies. . . . Highly recommended. Programs in women’s studies, and libraries collecting in the philosophy of the social sciences and life sciences and methodology more generally.”

“Feminism is a rapidly changing subject, constantly needing to redefine itself. In this overview of various aspects of feminism Jaggar has gathered articles that cover both the core issue of gender equality and less well-defined concerns, such as race, religion, and social status. Subjects in the first part include methodology within several disciplines: humanities, social sciences, economics, biology, and health sciences. The second half confronts recent issues within feminism: postmodernism, new biological research, and the conflict felt by women when feminism and other loyalties seem to clash. This is a comprehensive text useful for teaching in upper level and graduate seminars.”
Book News Inc.

“An important contribution to teaching. This text is richly informed by an intersectional appreciation—namely, that concerns of gender inequality cannot be separated from other systems of oppression.”
Nancy Tuana, DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy, Penn State University

“A splendid book from which students in philosophy, social science, and women’s studies can greatly benefit.”
Sandra Harding, Professor of Education, UCLA

“Very thorough, this book brings together historical debates with more current debates and issues. No other text has this kind of coverage.”
Kamala Kempadoo, Associate Professor of Social Science, York University

“Jaggar’s other anthologies have been invaluable teaching texts for me and for many of my colleagues for years now. This newest contribution will be another important resource for feminist teachers.”
Lisa Heldke, Professor of Philosophy, Gustavus Adolphus College

“A breath of fresh air and a wealth of information . . . this text offers a much-needed and well-balanced cross-disciplinary account of feminist methods. The authors tackle and provide thorough discussions of various issues, including the place of quantitative methodology in feminist research. The book should be in every feminist scholar’s library and is perfect for graduate methods courses.”
Mary Caprioli, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota–Duluth

“This exceptional volume is not only interdisciplinary but also transnational in its coverage. Jaggar has assembled the best of classic articles and illuminated their relevance through instructive and accessible introductions to each of 13 sections.”
V. Spike Peterson, Professor of Political Science with affiliated status in Women’s Studies, International Studies, Latin American Studies, and Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies, University of Arizona


Introduction: The Project of Feminist Methodology
Part I. Feminist Critiques of Methodology

The Humanities

Joan Kelly-Gadol, “The Social Relation of the Sexes:
Methodological Implications of Women’s History”
Janice Moulton, “A Paradigm of Philosophy: The Adversary Method”
Paula Gunn Allen, “Kochinnenako in Academe: Three
Approaches to Interpreting a Keres Indian Tale”

The Social Sciences

Dorothy E. Smith, “Women’s Perspective as a Radical Critique of Sociology”
Toby Epstein Jayaratne and Abigail J. Stewart, “Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences: Current Feminist Issues and Practical Strategies”
Linda Tuhiwai Smith, “Research through Imperial Eyes”


Diana A. Strassmann, “Not a Free Market: The Rhetoric of Disciplinary Authority in Economics”
Lourdes Benería, “Paid and Unpaid Labor: Meanings and Debates”
Marilyn Waring, “Counting for Something! Recognizing Women’s Contribution to the Global Economy through Alternative Accounting Systems”

Human Biology

Jennifer Terry, “Lesbians under the Medical Gaze: Scientists Search for Remarkable Differences”
Stephen J. Gould, “Critique of The Bell Curve”
Elisabeth A. Lloyd, “Bias”

Health Sciences

Geri L. Dickson, “Metaphors of Menopause: The Metalanguage of Menopause Research”
Karen Messing, “Don’t Use a Wrench to Peel Potatoes: Biological Science Constructed on Male Model Systems Is a Threat to Women Workers’ Health”
W. A. Rogers, “Evidence-Based Medicine and Justice: A Framework for Looking at the Impact of EBM upon Vulnerable or Disadvantaged Groups”

Feminist Studies

Maxine Baca Zinn, Lynn Weber Cannon, Elizabeth Higginbotham, and Bonnie Thornton Dill, “The Costs of Exclusionary Practices in Women’s Studies”
Bette S. Tallen, “How Inclusive Is Feminist Political Theory? Questions for Lesbians”
Uma Narayan, “Cross-Cultural Connections, Border-Crossings and ‘Death by Culture’”

Part II. Feminists Rethinking Methodology
Feminist Naturalism: Do Women Have Distinctive Ways of Knowing?

Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule, “Procedural Knowledge: Separate and Connected Knowing”
Patricia Hill Collins, “Black Feminist Epistemology”
Nancy Tuana, “Revaluing Science: Starting from the Practices of Women”

Feminist Empiricism: Experience and Interpretation

Joan W. Scott, “‘Experience’”
Renée T. White, “Talking about Sex and HIV: Conceptualizing a New Sociology of Experience”
Lorraine Code, “Incredulity, Experientialism, and the Politics of Knowledge”

Feminist Standpoint Theory: Social Location and Epistemic Privilege

Patricia Hill Collins, “Learning from the Outsider Within: The Sociological Significance of Black Feminist Thought”
Maria Mies, “The Need for a New Vision: The Subsistence Perspective”
Sandra Harding, “Borderlands Epistemologies”

Feminist Postmodernism: Knowledges as Partial, Contingent, and Politically Informed

Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective”
Nancy Fraser and Linda J. Nicholson, “Social Criticism without Philosophy: An Encounter between Feminism and Postmodernism”
Anne Opie, “Qualitative Research, Appropriation of the ‘Other’ and Empowerment” ”


Alison M. Jaggar, “Love and Knowledge: Emotion in Feminist Epistemology”
Helen Longino, “Values and Objectivity”
Naomi Scheman, “Epistemology Resuscitated: Objectivity as Trustworthiness”

Democratizing Research

Patricia Maguire, “Feminist Participatory Research”
Vandana Shiva, “Democratizing Biology: Reinventing Biology from a Feminist, Ecological, and Third World Perspective”
Jan Bootinand, “Feminist Participatory Action Research in the Mekong Region”

Ethical Issues in Research

Barrie Thorne, “‘You Still Takin’ Notes?’ Fieldwork and Problems of Informed Consent”
Naheed Islam, “Research as an Act of Betrayal: Researching Race in an Asian Community in Los Angeles”
Linda Alcoff, “The Problem of Speaking for Others” ”

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