Last Friday 30th October 2015, I was lucky to attend and present at the ‘Feminist Research Methodologies: Challenges and Negotiations’ conference for postgraduate students at Sheffield Hallam University, brilliantly organized by PhD student Rachel Handforth. The atmosphere was just perfect: warm and supportive, challenging and inspiring – with papers offering stimulating insights from multiple disciplines and feminisms (see programme here). And on top of that a fantastic keynote by Jessica Ringrose (UCL Institute of Education) on ‘Boning up on Impact: Feminist intra-activist research assemblages’!
In my paper titled ‘Interrogating commercial women’s media: A solidary-critical feminist approach’, I explored some ethico-political issues and dilemmas pertaining to the analysis of 64 interviews I have conducted with editors and writers of women’s magazines. Drawing on integrated principles from the feminist ethics of care (e.g., Carol Gilligan 1983) and intention (Val Gillies & Pam Alldred 2012), along with Ros Gill’s (2007) notion of ‘critical respect’, I advanced a ‘solidary-critical’ approach as useful for my study, but also other social science research, with interests ranging from the practices of ‘cool corporations’ (Jim McGuigan 2009) to social justice activism. I likewise argued that in the contemporary heterogeneous terrain of reinvigorated and emergent feminisms, solidary-critical interventions have much to offer.
Gill, R. (2007) Critical Respect: The Difficulties and Dilemmas of Agency and ‘Choice’ for Feminism: A Reply to Duits and van Zoonen. European Journal of Women’s Studies 14(1): 69–80.
Gilligan, C. (1983) In A Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Gillies, V., and Alldred, P. (2012) The Ethics of Intention: Research as a Political Tool. In M. Mauthner, M. Birch, J. Jessop, & T. Miller (Eds.), Ethics in Qualitative Research. Second edition. London: SAGE.
McGuigan, J. (2009) Cool Capitalism. London: Pluto.