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American Pragmatism and Feminism: Fresh Opportunities for Sociological Inquiry

American Pragmatism and Feminism: Fresh Opportunities for Sociological Inquiry Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 7, No. 1 (June 2010), 129­148 Editions Rodopi © 2010 Nick Rumens and Mihaela Kelemen Despite its impact on public administration, policy development, education, philosophy and politics, American pragmatism has made a relatively small impression on the social sciences. In particular, American pragmatism has seldom influenced feminism, which is remarkable given the potentially striking affinities between these two disciplines. Drawing upon the pragmatist philosophy of John Dewey and the work of feminists who support a pragmatist approach to the study of gender, this article discusses the chequered history of relations between the two disciplines. It also focuses on the methodological possibilities of establishing a pragmatist-feminist position. Taking ethnography as a means to illustrate our ideas, we suggest that a pragmatist-feminist ethnography can help social scientists to rethink theory in terms of its practical application, articulate the value of an anti-foundational view of knowledge and promote investigating people's concrete experiences for understanding gender inequalities. 1. Introduction Recently there has been a revival of interest in American pragmatism from a feminist perspective. Saying as much is to recognise that American pragmatism has not had a sustained impact on feminist theorising. This is both perplexing and intriguing for http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

American Pragmatism and Feminism: Fresh Opportunities for Sociological Inquiry

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 7 (1): 129 – Apr 21, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2010 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000159
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 7, No. 1 (June 2010), 129­148 Editions Rodopi © 2010 Nick Rumens and Mihaela Kelemen Despite its impact on public administration, policy development, education, philosophy and politics, American pragmatism has made a relatively small impression on the social sciences. In particular, American pragmatism has seldom influenced feminism, which is remarkable given the potentially striking affinities between these two disciplines. Drawing upon the pragmatist philosophy of John Dewey and the work of feminists who support a pragmatist approach to the study of gender, this article discusses the chequered history of relations between the two disciplines. It also focuses on the methodological possibilities of establishing a pragmatist-feminist position. Taking ethnography as a means to illustrate our ideas, we suggest that a pragmatist-feminist ethnography can help social scientists to rethink theory in terms of its practical application, articulate the value of an anti-foundational view of knowledge and promote investigating people's concrete experiences for understanding gender inequalities. 1. Introduction Recently there has been a revival of interest in American pragmatism from a feminist perspective. Saying as much is to recognise that American pragmatism has not had a sustained impact on feminist theorising. This is both perplexing and intriguing for

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2010

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