Maps, Numbers, Text, and Context: Mixing Methods in Feminist Political Ecology


Rocheleau, Dianne. 1994. “Maps, Numbers, Text, and Context: Mixing Methods in Feminist Political Ecology.” The Professional Geographer 47 (4): 458-66.

Author: Dianne Rocheleau


Feminist post-structuralist theory, feminist empiricism, and field practice can all contribute to insights on the value of quantitative and qualitative methods in feminist geographical research. A political ecology study of gendered interests in a social forestry program in the Dominican Republic illustrates the methodological dilemmas and potentials of feminist research on environmental change. The study combined qualitative and quantitative data collection and analytical techniques. Examples from the case study address three methodological questions in feminist geography: (1) Should identity or affinity be the basis for situating ourselves and the subjects of our research? (2) How can we reconcile multiple subjectivities and quantitative methods in the quest for objectivity? and (3) Can we combine traditional positivist methods with participatory mapping and oral histories? The paper draws on theoretical literature as well as field experience to answer these questions.

Keywords: feminist, gender, qualitative methods, political ecology

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Dominican Republic

Year: 1994

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