What do you mean Feminist? Implications of Using the 'F' word in Nursing Research

A. Cotton

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Claiming to be doing feminist research invariably raises many issues for both the researcher and the audience of the academic and professional nursing community. Such issues may relate to the epistemological and ethical subject positions being taken, but also important are the responses of the listener – whether this is a colleague or a student in an informal setting, or the more public arena of the conference paper or written publication. This paper develops and explores the identity of ‘feminist researcher’ and, drawing upon auto-ethnographic reflexive narratives, considers assumptions about what this might mean. Uses of feminist theory within nursing research will be considered, along with an analysis of how such theory may be located within the postmodern. The paper will draw upon my recent post doctoral experiences of being required to disseminate ‘findings’ from an experimental ethnographic PhD thesis which purports to be a ‘feminist’ study. This study was concerned with women’s narratives of heroin use /abuse, and drew upon feminist and critical discourses. The paper presented here will explore the tensions inherent in representing women’s stories, some of the difficulties in ‘doing feminist research’ – along with a consideration of the implications of the identity of ‘feminist researcher’. In developing an exposition of such implications, the paper will endeavour to address some of the assumptions which are invariably made when the ‘F’ word is mentioned.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference - City Hall, Bristol, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Mar 200927 Mar 2009


ConferenceRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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