“How do you ge a PhD in that?!”: using feminist epistemologies to research the lives of working class women

Emma Casey (International Institute for Culture, Tourism and Development, London Metropolitan University, 277‐181 Holloway Road, London, N7 8HN, UK)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Publication date: 1 January 2003

Abstract

This article represents an attempt to uncover a suitable method of sociological enquiry, which can best understand and explore the experiences of the older, working class women of my research. Noting the historical, frustrating sense of absence of women in dominant knowledge claims (for example Beauvoir, 1997; Woolf, 1993; Rowbotham, 1973), the article seeks to complement post‐modern critiques of the autonomy of reason with feminist accounts of knowledge or “epistemologies”. The article documents the dislocation between my own epistemological assumptions and the women’s ways of knowing, and their attempts to defend themselves against my middle class interpretations of their working class lives. It offers a reflexive account of my own ethnographic research experiences, in order to help resolve some of the practical dilemmas faced by feminist researchers (Ribbens and Edwards, 1988). The article highlights some of the pains and pleasures of the feminist research experience.

Keywords

Citation

Casey, E. (2003), "“How do you ge a PhD in that?!”: using feminist epistemologies to research the lives of working class women", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 23 No. 1/2, pp. 107-123. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330310790471

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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