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Feminism and social science

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-Q113-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Feminists have two sorts of interest in the social sciences. With the advent of the second-wave women’s movement, they developed wide-ranging critiques of gender bias in the conceptual framework and methodology, as well as in the goals, institutions and practice of virtually all the social sciences; they argue that the social sciences both reflect and contribute to the sexism of the larger societies in which they are embedded. Alongside these critiques feminist practitioners have established constructive programmes of research that are intended to rectify the inadequacies of existing traditions of research and to address questions of concern to women. In this they are committed both to improving the disciplines in which they participate and to establishing a sound empirical and theoretical basis for feminist activism. This engagement of feminists with social science, as commentators and practitioners, raises a number of philosophical issues that have been addressed by feminist social scientists and philosophers. These include questions about ideals of objectivity and the role of contextual values in social scientific inquiry, the goals of feminist research, the forms of practice appropriate to these goals, and the responsibilities of feminist researchers to the subjects of inquiry and to those who may otherwise be affected by its conduct or results.

Citing this article:
Wylie, Alison. Feminism and social science, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-Q113-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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