Ambika Tandon: Feminist Methodology in Technology Research: A Literature Review

This literature review has been authored by Ambika Tandon, with contributions from Mukta Joshi. Research assistance was provided by Kumarjeet Ray and Navya Sharma. The publication has been designed by Saumyaa Naidu.

Feminist research methodology is a vast body of knowledge, spanning across multiple disciplines including sociology, media studies, and critical legal studies. This literature review aims to understand key aspects of feminist methodology across these disciplines, with a particular focus on research on technology and its interaction with society. Stemming from the argument that the ontological notion of objectivity effaces power relations in the process of knowledge production, feminist research is critical of the subjects, producers, and nature of knowledge. Section I of the literature review explores this argument along with a range of theoretical concepts, such as standpoint theory and historical materialism, as well as principles of feminist research derived from these, such as intersectionality and reflexivity.

Given its critique of the "god's eye view" (Madhok and Evans, 2014) of objectivist research, feminist scholars have largely developed qualitative methods that are more conducive to acknowledgement of power hierarchies. Additionally, some scholars have recognised the political value in quantification of inequalities such as the wage gap, and have developed intersectional quantitative methods that aim at narrowing down measurable inequalities. Both sets of methods are explored in Section II of the literature review, interspersed with examples from research focused on technology.

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