The emerging importance of feminist research paradigms in built environment research

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Structural Survey, 2007, 25 (5), pp. 408 - 417
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Purpose - This paper seeks to establish and demonstrate the relevance of feminist research methods within built environment research. While no one definition of feminist research exists, many feminist researchers identify characteristics which distinguish it from traditional social science research; it is research that studies women, or that focuses on gender. Design/methodology/approach - There is a growing body of research into women and the built environment adopting feminist paradigms. This paper explains the dynamic, evolving philosophical basis of feminist research methods drawing comparisons to traditional positivist methodologies and demonstrates that feminist research has characteristics that can be imported into other research paradigms. Findings - The paper shows that there is much to be learned from an understanding of feminist research for all researchers in the built environment and that by adopting different approaches to research, researchers may find new and original ways of examining complex issues. Research limitations/implications - The implications are that all researchers in the built environment should consider the benefits of adopting a feminist approach in their research especially where the researcher is seeking to gain a deeper understanding of peoples' experiences. Originality/value - This paper seeks to raise awareness ofthe benefits of adopting feminist research methods in a discipline dominated by traditional approaches to research.
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