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Methodological and ethical issues in feminist research with abused women: Reflections on participants' vulnerability and empowerment

Womens Studies International Forum, 2015 Jan-Feb, Vol.48, pp.124-134 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Methodological and ethical issues in feminist research with abused women: Reflections on participants' vulnerability and empowerment
  • Author: Burgess-Proctor, A
  • Found In: Womens Studies International Forum, 2015 Jan-Feb, Vol.48, pp.124-134 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Subjects: Social Research ; Feminism ; Women ; Survivor ; Domestic Violence
  • Language: English
  • Description: This essay provides reflections and insights on the sometimes complicated methodological and ethical issues involved in conducting feminist interviews with abused women and other trauma survivors. I begin by summarizing the development of conventional, positivist-informed standards of research methods and ethics as represented by federal regulations and university Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Next I describe the post-positivist feminist critique of these standards and highlight several guiding principles of feminist research methodology. I then consider whether survivors of violent victimization are appropriately considered vulnerable research populations, and provide examples from my own research with abused women that allow for researcher reflexivity about the ethical considerations of researching traumatic topics like intimate partner abuse (IPA). Finally, I conclude by offering suggestions for feminist interview strategies designed to help empower rather than simply protect participants.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0277-5395 ; DOI: 10.1016/j.wsif.2014.10.014

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