Doing Ethnography in a Sexist World: A Response to “The Feminist Ethnographer’s Dilemma”

Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Title

Journal of Contemporary Ethnography

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

The year 2013 marks the continuation of a self-reflexive turn in feminist ethnography. Thanks largely to the feminist pioneers who exposed the fallacy of “value-free science,” concerns about ethnographic objectivity have been replaced by a recognition of the ethnographer’s responsibility to interrogate social locations and power differences. As a result, many feminists have turned inwards to critique the methodological frameworks that guide our research. “The Feminist Ethnographer’s Dilemma” by Avishai, Gerber, and Randles continues this trend. The authors ask, what do we do when our feminist politics clash with our empirical findings? Their answer is institutional reflexivity: ethnographers must critically examine how feminist methodology can pose “ideological blinders” that obscure our analysis of what’s really happening on the ground.