Session: Towards Transnational Feminist Theory and Methodologies in Social Work Research (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

261 Towards Transnational Feminist Theory and Methodologies in Social Work Research

Saturday, January 14, 2023: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Valley of the Sun D, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: International Social Work & Global Issues
Claire Willey-Sthapit, PhD, University of Kansas
Lindsay Gezinski, PhD, N/A, Sharvari Karandikar, PhD, Ohio State University, Nadine Shaanta Murshid, PhD, State University of New York at Buffalo and Claire Willey-Sthapit, PhD, University of Kansas
Transnational feminism recognizes the plurality of gendered lived experiences, privileges, and oppressions across and within borders and critiques the universalization of women's liberation based on neoliberal ideas of individualism and choice. Moreover, transnational feminism critiques white feminism's savior complex associated with the need to rescue "Third World" women, constructed as victims of their own cultures. In this roundtable, we describe contributions of transnational feminist theory and methodologies to the analysis the nation and national borders as locations of social difference and oppression alongside intersecting experiences based in race, gender, and class. We also discuss how transnational feminists have critiqued ideologies that position Global North ways of knowing as the norm and western academics as the arbiters of knowledge. Using examples from our own research, we discuss how transnational feminist theory and methodologies support social justice in social work research.

After briefly introducing ourselves and the roundtable, we will ask about participants' experiences with transnational feminism and interests in this roundtable. Second, we will provide a brief introduction to transnational feminist theory and research as we see it, including discussion of the major concerns and epistemologocial stances of transnational feminist scholarship. In this introduction and throughout the roundtable discussion, we will draw on our own experiences utilizing transnational feminist theory and methodologies in research with communities who oftentimes are positioned at the margins: migrants, refugees, trafficked persons, sex workers, people in extreme poverty, and survivors of violence.

Third, drawing on examples from our research alongside our lived experiences, we will offer our answers to questions related to transnational feminist research. Central questions we will address include: 1) How do we engage in reflexivity and challenge imperial privilege in transnational research? 2) What does research that utilizes transnational feminist theory and methodologies look like in practice? 3) What is the future of transnational feminist research in social work?

Throughout the conversation, we will ask participants to reflect on their own answers to these questions, as well as on the potential contributions or challenges of employing transnational feminist approach in social work research.

Overall, this roundtable will explore the meanings and practices of transnational feminist theory and methodologies, with implications for feminist inquiry in social work research, replacing the practice of one-way knowledge production and recolonization of research participants. A feminist praxis for conducting transnational research that emphasizes research with rather than on disenfranchised populations will be emphasized, as well as visions and strategies to advance solidarity through liberatory research frameworks.

See more of: Roundtables