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Feminist Social Research Methods

2. The Importance of Gender and Other Differences

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about feminist understandings of the importance of gender and other differences in social research, focusing in particular on: (i) feminists’ interest in studying men as well as women; (ii) the importance of the private sphere in understanding society and Ann Oakley’s central role in making household dynamics an area of sociological study; (iii) the ways in which gender difference intersects with signifiers like class and race to shape life chances, and the feminist argument that power relationships between researcher and respondent should be considered in the research process.


In this course, Professor Gayle Letherby (University of Plymouth) explores ideas and methods associated with feminist social research. In the first lecture, we consider feminist critiques of traditional sociological research. In the second lecture, we look at the ways in which feminist scholars incorporate gender and other differences into their research. In the third lecture, we think about issues of emotion and sensitivity in the research process. Next, we turn to feminist engagements with qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In the fifth lecture, we consider feminist approaches to epistemology. In the sixth and final lecture, we consider ideas of objectivity and subjectivity, and the place of politics and values in the research process.


Professor Gayle Letherby is Honorary Professor of Sociology at the University of Plymouth. Her areas of interest include social research methods, particularly feminist methodologies, and the sociology of the family. She is co-author of Introduction to Gender: Social Science Perspectives (2014) and Objectivity and Subjectivity in Social Research (2013), and author of Feminist Research in Theory and Practice (2003).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Letherby, G. (2021, August 31). Feminist Social Research Methods - The Importance of Gender and Other Differences [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Letherby, G. "Feminist Social Research Methods – The Importance of Gender and Other Differences." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 31 Aug 2021,

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