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Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Feminist dilemmas in data analysis: researching the use of creative writing by women survivors of sexual abuse

Green Lister, Pam (2003) Feminist dilemmas in data analysis: researching the use of creative writing by women survivors of sexual abuse. Qualitative Social Work, 2 (1). pp. 45-60. ISSN 1473-3250

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Abstract

In this article, I seek to explore some of the theoretical and political dilemmas I faced as a feminist qualitative researcher in the field of child sexual abuse. The article draws on my research into the use of creative writing by women survivors of sexual abuse. I begin my article with a discussion of how I entered the research process as a feminist researcher. I consider how my choice of research topic raised a number of ethical issues. I then engage in a discussion of the challenges of data analysis for feminist researchers. In order to illustrate the challenges I faced in my research, I focus on how women survivors use writing to explore memory. Theoretical perspectives on memory and women survivors of sexual abuse are explored, before I summarize my findings in this area. In analysing women’s use of writing to explore memory, I outline the interpretive tensions I faced at a range of levels of analysis. I demonstrate how I tried to ensure that women survivors’ voices were privileged, while I also engaged in the theoretical and political debates in the field. I conclude that feminist researchers need to develop epistemologies that can meet the complexity of the world as experienced and understood by our research subjects.