Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 23–41 | Cite as

Reflexivity, feminism and difference

  • Rahel Wasserfall
Articles

Abstract

This paper addresses the relation of feminist methodology to political commitments. Distinguishing between a “weak” and a “strong” reading of Reflexivity this paper argues that the former contains certain assumptions on the deconstruction of the authority of the author and/or of the power difference in field relations. These assumptions are identified and their often problematic nature analyzed. Based on the impact of the murder of a peace activist in Israel on the field relations between informants from Moroccan Jewish ethnicity and a woman ethnographer of Ashkenazi ethnicity, the paper argues that in cases of conflict regarding basic political orientation, differences between ethnographer and informants become marked. Thus difficulty with the reflexive stand does appear. While in cases of shared commonalities, where the commonality of a shared gender becomes marked, reflexivity is viewed as a method to promote a more ethical approach to social scientific research.

Keywords

Social Psychology Social Issue Cross Cultural Psychology Field Relation Political Orientation 

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rahel Wasserfall
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for the Study of Women and SocietyThe Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New YorkUSA

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