Friday, July 29, 2011

Feminist science?

A critic of feminist science via two articles found by Pelle:

Only women bleed?: a critical reassessment of comprehensive feminist social theory (2009), Lindberg, Helen (Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences)

Is there a viable specifically feminist social theory that can serve as heuristic devise in our social research? This thesis is a critical reassessment of the ontological and normative assumptions of four social theories with specific and clear claims of being feminist. These are Catharine M MackInnon’s Radical Feminism, Anna G Jonasdottir’s Theory of Love Power, Luce Irigaray’s Feminism of Sexual Difference and Judith Butler’s Queer Feminism.

[...] The thesis concludes that it is highly problematic to do science feministly, but that we do need the critical questions feminists raise in order to reevaluate concepts, theories and research priorities. It is argued that feminist social theories are perhaps most helpful as ideological guidance for political action.
-from here

The website of SAGE, which publishes the journal, describes it as a "feminist, scientific, peer-reviewed journal." The authors also admit that their goal is to "reduce endorsement" of sexism. However, this constitutes a clear conflict of interest. A journal cannot state an ideological goal and simultaneously claim to be scientific. Would a global warming journal be taken seriously if it claimed "debunking the hoax" as one of its goals?

Put simply, ideology is not allowed in science. It is also not scientific to arbitrarily define your own terms. Real science requires precision and reproducibility, neither of which likely applies to this study. If the study were conducted again in a culturally conservative region, such as the Southern U.S., would it see the same result? Or how about in Asia? Probably not.

[...] Dressing up one's personal ideology in the language of science is an affront to the scientific method.
-from here

1 comment:

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