Feminist Epistemology: The Foundation of Feminist Research and its Distinction from Traditional Research


  • Joanne Ardovini-Brooker




There are many questions surrounding feminist research. The most common question is: "What makes
feminist research distinctive from traditional research within the Social Sciences?" In trying to answer
this question, we need to examine feminist epistemology and the intertwining nature of epistemology,
methodology (theory and analysis of how research should proceed), and methods (techniques for
gathering data) utilized by feminist researchers. Feminist epistemology in contrast to traditional
epistemologies is the foundation on which feminist methodology is built. In turn, the research that
develops from this methodology differs greatly from research that develops from traditional methodology
and epistemology. Therefore, I argue that one must have a general understanding of feminist
epistemology and methodology before one can understand what makes this type of research unique. Such
a foundation will assist us in our exploration of the realm of feminist research, while illuminating the
differences between feminist and traditional research.