Researching the urban reflexively: feminist methodological issues

Vacchelli, Elena (2013) Researching the urban reflexively: feminist methodological issues. Hagar: studies in culture, polities and identities, 11 (1) . pp. 41-62. [Article]


This article addresses embodied methodologies in geographical research and draws on reflexivity as a specifically feminist methodology for explaining the kind of relationality which exists among the ‘objects’ of research. Researching reflexively means acknowledging that the bodily presence of the researcher, her/his subjectivity, identity and knowledges influence, interact and modifies the field of research contributing to discard the notion of ‘objective research’. It is well known that women and homosexuals have been depicted as ‘the other’, trapped in their bodily experience, by mainstream scientific knowledge. For this reason, feminist epistemologies such as politics of location, situated knowledges, positionality and standpoint theories represent a way to re-appropriate the body as a tool of inquiry.

In Italian feminism, separatist practices such as consciousness-raising have been a poignant example of the use of the body as a vector of knowledge. It is through the bodily exposure in a collective space that personal narratives assumed a political meaning. The materiality of researching using inter-corporeal embodied methodologies will be addressed by drawing on consciousness-raising as a technology of the self that uses the body as a necessary starting point. Positionality is understood as a way to mobilize knowledge, which is always embodied, when researching feminist spatial practices in Milan.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Social Policy Research Centre
Item ID: 15968
Depositing User: Elena Vacchelli
Date Deposited: 13 May 2015 14:53
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2017 15:22

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