Treading on Eggshells: Doing Feminism in Educational Research




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Taylor and Francis



Peer reviewed



This paper explores the contradictions of ‘doing’ feminist research, and how the materiality of engaging in fieldwork magnifies the gap between ‘ideal’ versus ‘actual’ feminist ways of conducting research. Drawing on my Doctoral research with British-Pakistani mothers of children with SEND, I explore the ethical and methodological challenges of engaging with feminist methodology and how this contributes value to the research process when working with marginalized groups. I examine three principles of undertaking feminist methodology; firstly, the ethical challenges arising from conducting unstructured interviews in a nontherapeutic context with vulnerable participants. Secondly, I explore how feminist researchers can positively contribute to making a practical difference in the lives of the women they research with, thereby going beyond how feminist values of reciprocity and responsibility towards participants have traditionally been implemented in the field. Finally, I consider utilizing theoretical frameworks which help analyse data to reveal sites for social change. This paper concludes by noting that traditional feminist methods may not always be more ethical, and that as feminist researchers we must be willing to adopt a holistic view of feminist values, where the vulnerabilities of the researcher and participants are both respected and where methodology is adjusted accordingly.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


Feminist methods, interviewing women, Intersectionality, consciousness-raising, marginalised groups


Rizvi, S. (2017) Treading on eggshells: doing feminism in educational research. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, pp.1-13.


Research Institute

Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice