Bristow, Ann R.; Esper, Jody A.
November 1984
Humanity & Society;Nov84, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p489
Academic Journal
The goal of the paper is to use feminist ideology to explicate how research can be a consciousness raising experience. It uses examples, taken from data on the survival of rape, to support and illustrate the methodological processes and considerations. The research was conducted in response to victims, or survivors, of one form of violence against women, rape. The feminist emphasis of the work is reflected in two critical assumptions. First, authors regard the research participants as experts of their own experiences. Second, they believe that the fundamental, underlying cause of rape is rooted in sexism in interaction with the sanctioning of violence in the society. Instead of invalidating a women's survival strategies, as exemplified, research can operate to support a woman's experiences. Women's irrational fears, sexual dysfunctions, sense of vulnerability and low self-esteem may be due to prior sexual assaults, even ones which occurred many years ago. Failure to develop intervention, research and public policy that devolve from women's experiences is a failure of consciousness. Authors believe that research embodying consciousness raising in its process, as articulated by feminists, is research that empowers oppressed peoples to define their own realities.


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