Feminist Methodologies: Unsettling Multiple Boundaries in Development

Negotiating Boundaries and Borders

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1283-2, eISBN: 978-1-84950-395-2

ISSN: 1042-3192

Publication date: 15 March 2007


When I began to think about this chapter, and to consider the impact of negotiating boundaries in my recent PhD research, there were a number of pertinent issues which could be understood in terms of ‘boundaries’. This chapter therefore considers the negotiation of multiple boundaries, in both the research process and the outcomes of development research. Using the case study example of research with a group of grassroots women health promoters, I explore the ways that adopting a qualitative feminist methodological approach served to unsettle boundaries within development research and development practice. As a feminist researcher, one of my key preoccupations has been negotiating and making visible issues of power and positionality in the research process, conceptualised here in terms of a series of boundaries. As this is something with which feminist researchers have struggled for over 20 years (see, e.g., Oakley, 1981; Acker, Barry, & Esseveld, 1983), I do not claim to offer any solutions to these issues, but rather this chapter will provide a discussion of how these dynamics and dilemmas were played out in the context of my own fieldwork. England (1994) highlights the importance of reflecting on the position of the researcher, and her role in the research process, as an integral part of producing qualitative research, and Rose (1997) suggests that this reflexivity should lookboth ‘inward’ to the identity of the researcher, and ‘outward’ in her relation to her research and what is described as ‘the wider world’. (Rose, 1997, p. 309)


Jenkins, K. (2007), "Feminist Methodologies: Unsettling Multiple Boundaries in Development", Smith, M. (Ed.) Negotiating Boundaries and Borders (Studies in Qualitative Methodology, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 83-103. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1042-3192(06)08005-0

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