The Society for Social Work and Research

2014 Annual Conference

January 15-19, 2014 I Grand Hyatt San Antonio I San Antonio, TX

Feminism Plus? Critical Research, Women, and Madness

Thursday, January 16, 2014: 4:00 PM
HBG Convention Center, Room 008B River Level (San Antonio, TX)
* noted as presenting author
Andrea Daley, PhD, Assistant Professor, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
In this presentation I examine how three researchers engage with feminism within the context of an ongoing critical, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research project. The project on which the presentation is based identifies as its primary objective the examination of the interpretative nature of psychiatry in relation to gender, sexuality, race, and class within the particular time and place of one urban, Canadian, clinical psychiatric setting.  While recognizing the various subject positions of the researchers, the presentation will explore key feminist research issues including feminist epistemologies, collaborative methodology and representation, collaborative knowledge production, ethics, and dissemination, as well as feminist principles in research including power and authority, egalitarianism, trust, and the social justice and emancipatory research goal of social/structural transformations. Central to the presentation will be the question of whether our research is best characterized as feminist research. In particular, I will examine how historical and existing critiques of, and challenges to, feminism generally, and feminist research specifically by disability rights, consumer/survivor, and mad movements complicate our research as explicitly feminist. In this regard, the question of ‘feminist plus?’ is offered in the title of the presentation by way of articulating the researchers’ uncertain and unsettled relationship with feminism in relation to critical research that takes up an intersectional approach to examine women (femininities) and madness. Moreover, the question of ‘feminist plus?’ offers a challenge to feminist researchers to adopt a stance of openness and becoming, whereby, there is an ongoing engagement with, and response to, the tensions of conducting critical, emancipatory research that is informed by intersecting theories and frameworks.