P1: LMF Sex Roles [sers] PP059-294990 February 14, 2001 17:27 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999 Sex Roles, Vol. 43, Nos. 9/10, 2000 Book Review Understanding Depression: Feminist Social Constructionist Approaches. By Janet Stoppard, London, Routledge, 2000, 239 pp. Within the ﬁeld of psychology, the most widely accepted approaches to the study of mental illness are those that employ the scientiﬁc method. These “mainstream” approaches strive to eliminate subjectivity through the use of standardized instruments that are assumed to adequately measure the phenomenon in question. In her new book, Janet Stoppard questions the ob- jectivity of mainstream approaches, arguing from a feminist social construc- tionist perspective that all knowledge is value-laden and that psychologists, researchers, and medical professionals who work within these parameters necessarily impose meaning on the experiences of the “subjects” they study and treat. Within this epistemological framework, women’s voices fade into the background; their descriptions and interpretations of their own experi- ences are virtually ignored. In fact, Stoppard asserts, “feminist analyses of the knowledge generated by application of the positivist scientiﬁc method have characterized it as reﬂecting a conception of the world from the standpoint of male experience, a viewpoint that poorly represents women’s lives” (p.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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