ACSPRI Conferences, ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference 2010

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Using Qualitative Methods in Feminist Research

Nurunnaher Nurunnaher

Building: Holme Building
Room: Sutherland Room
Date: 2010-12-02 01:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Last modified: 2010-11-17


The study is, based on my on-going doctoral research of the ‘impact of microcredit programs on women’s empowerment: a study of NGOs in the selected slums of Dhaka city, Bangladesh,’ a before only study which is qualitative in nature and subjective as well. This study starts with literature review which considers that unequal social structure, norms and cultural practices are responsible for women’s inferior and disempowered position in the patriarchal society in Bangladesh. Thus, this study requires the process to listening the people (both women and men) from their personal and everyday experiences, whereas self-disclosure of researcher and establishment of rapport and trust between the researcher and researched have been also important, to grab their real perceptions and understanding from their own voices and attitudes. Thus, this study is not only about women but also for them to challenge their vulnerable position and empowering too during data collection process. In doing so, this study is carried out from feminist perspectives which utilizes familiar methods of data collection in qualitative methods including feminist method of in-depth individual interviews (audio record and photographs), focus groups discussions (FGD) (video record and photographs), participatory rapid appraisal (PRA) (photographs only) and occasional observations (audio and video record and hand notes) in between February to June, 2010. It comprises a total of 45 interviews (using semi-structured interview schedule with selected but open headings, sub-headings and questions), 9 FGDs (based on 3 different topics; and for each topic, 3 FGDs were organised, to get see consistency and to reach saturated point) and 9 PRA (based on 3 different topics; and for each topic, 3 PRAs were organised) with participant women, however, 6 FGDs and 6 PRAs with their partners/male family members to see similarities and differences of their understanding because within the feminist methodology, not only women’s views but also their partners views are also focus of investigation.  On the other hand, while ‘memo writing’ is a process of data analysis and interpretation, it started since data collection begins to keep track research progress, and trace strengths and limitations, is also an essential part of this research. Thus, having feminist framework in data collection, the process of the research employed NVivo software to organise data including transcribing, coding, classifying, linking and summarizing data. However, to analyse data, this research is going to use ‘thematic’ and feminist ‘content’ analytical frameworks where feminist frameworks {i.e., Moser,K(1993) and Kabeer,N (1999)} will be employed to organise and interpret findings. Finally, in terms of doing feminist qualitative research, the presentation of the research findings is also important in a way that reflects the original reality of the individuals life experiences in terms of which they act and reflexivity of researcher who present them in her own angle.