Feminist research acknowledges the centrality of female knowledge and experience. Within this two further strands can be identified: that many feminist researchers place an emphasis on the social construction of meaning, with particular emphasis on the role of language as the primary vehicle of such constructions; and that within the centrality of female knowledge and experience is a feminist analysis of the role of power in determining the form and representation of social knowledge. The latter is an acknowledgement that feminist research is not just an extension of traditional research in non‐sexist ways and areas of relevance to women but that it must entail a critical evaluation of the research process in terms of its ability to illuminate women's experiences. This should comprise three strands — a critique of traditional theories and methods, the development of more appropriate theories and methods for studying the experience of women and the analysis of the role of the researcher within his/her research.
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