Training of Basic Feminist Methodology for Knowledge Development, Second Batch, Jakarta, 13-16 June 2011
Teach your family to have an healthy relationship with food.
Capacity Building / Training
Based on the experiences of Women Research Institute (WRI), there is a need among young researchers to study the feminist research method further in a comprehensive and skilled manner, in order to understand problems and find aspects of empowerment in achieving a gender-fair social prosperity.
The feminist methodology is essential because it can assist and provide a framework for those working and concerned in women’s issues. This method reminds us that there is no single truth for everything; hence, the need to respect the diversity of views and opinions. This perspective also criticizes other methods that have been adapted and used, particularly in social researches or scientific papers, which believe that quantity can reveal the existence of social truth.
In order to develop and disseminate this method as a critical alternative to non-gender perspective research methods, WRI held the second batch of the Basic Feminist Methodology for Knowledge Development on 13-16 June 2011 in Jakarta, following the success of the first batch of the Basic Feminist Methodology Training in May 2011. This was also in response to the enthusiasm shown by potential participants who contacted WRI through emails and phone calls.
The selected participants of the training would have to undergo another round of selection to participate in the Advanced Feminist Methodology Training in October 2011. The process of selection will be based on the Research Design which the participants had made during the sequence of the training.
To provide young researchers with a coaching in feminist-perspective research methodology and enable them to disseminate its implementation in other research works.
To improve researchers’ comprehension on the ways to manage researches as well as understand feminist theories and the methodological options that relate to the issues of women and the social, political, and cultural contexts.
To enable participants develop a network of methodological learning forum among researchers and enhance their capacity to conduct a critical analysis using the feminist standpoint.
To enhance participants’ capacity to write a scientific report to be disseminated through journals or books, introducing readers of the published work to the feminist research method.
Participants can understand the feminist research methodology, including the sources and philosophical basis of its theoretical background and praxis.
Participants can enhance their capacity as a researcher by gaining new references and sources on feminist researches.
Participants are able to study the development of the theories of feminist praxis, as well as align themselves with the feminist ethics.
Participants are able to adjust themselves in managing researches with ample management skills.
Aris Arif Mundayat, Ph.D; Myra Diarsi, MA; Sita Aripurnami, M.Sc; Edriana Noerdin, MA
Theodora J. Erlijna (Social History Institute of Indonesia), Dr. Risa Permandeli (Director of Center for Social Representation Studies), Erni Agustini, Msi (Women Research Institute), Muninggar Saraswati, MA (Women Research Institute), Ika Wahyu Priaryani, S.Sos (Women Research Institute)
First Day, 13 June 2011
On the first day, participants were encouraged to trace back the history of thoughts, opinions, and perceptions of women, both in Indonesia and other countries. This session attempted to deconstruct the dominant thoughts, perceptions and opinions of women in society, as well as the power relation in gender relations. Participants were expected to understand the long history of women’s marginalization in the living discourse within society, before moving on to interpret the long history of that marginalization. Finally, participants would establish the ability to compare various ideas, perceptions and opinions of women. A specific description of discussion materials was explained through discussion topics, held per session.
SESSION I: Comprehension of the Social, Cultural, and Political Phenomenon Influenced by Gender-Based Power Relations
In this session, participants were invited to place the feminist concept as a foundation in developing knowledge and as a basis of social movement for social changes.
Points of Discussion
The basic feminist school of thought: Discussion of the critical theory and history of feminism in identifying problems of gender-based social relations.
Aim of Session:
Participants understand feminism as a platform to formulate critical thinking.
Participants can skillfully use the feminist approach as a framework of thought to understand social phenomena from various disciplines.
Participants can gain a critical social stance concerning gender relations.
SESSION II: Presentation of Research Topics
Participants were asked to think critically and identify gender-based social relation issues, which would be the basis of their respective topics of interests. In this session, participants could also express their ideas or suggestions about the research that they had carried out or would do.
Aim of Session
Participants can think critically about research themes that relate to social phenomena, culture, and politics influenced by gender-based power relations. Moreover, participants can also opine and present the ideas or issues of their respective interests to be studied in their current or future researches.
SESSION III: The Conceptual Synthesis of Approaches Combining Various Methods to Understand Feminist-Perspective Social Issues
In this session, participants were invited to discuss approaches that combine several methods to understand feminist-perspective social issues. Several of the methods hold an important significance in social change and in answering the needs of feminist researches.
Aim of Session
Participants understand that the combination of methods could contribute in representing women’s experiences.
First Day: Notes of Discussion
The first day of training was commenced with a critical question, “What is feminism and how does it differ to gender?” The facilitator’s attempt to deconstruct the participants’ deep-rooted thoughts succeeded to make participants think critically in distinguishing common researches and feminist researches. Researches using the feminist standpoint were based on the dissatisfaction with the positivist approach influenced by scientific and objective thoughts. As a result, such researches fail to understand the values and meanings of the process of women’s oppression. Science often attempts to exclude ‘the personal’ from the existing norms and values in order to analyze a phenomenon objectively.
In feminist researches, a researcher is able to get closer to and even side with the subjects of his/her research, who are largely women. This is particularly relevant to the term “feminism”, a school of thought that was started in the 19th century and is still relevant today. This school aims to reveal the issue of the imbalanced power relations, both within individuals and groups in the social community, which tend to give a bigger authority to men in deciding and making decisions. It is only by conducting a feminist research that the inequality in the power relations between men and women could be described, analyzed, and ‘voiced’. Such is the strength of a feminist research; it voices the unheard, as well as changes the imbalanced power relations.
The imbalanced power of relations originated from a long history of civilization. The expression ‘the man made world’ is a perspective that men were the ones who created the world and life, originating from Frederick Engel’s 1884 book ‘The origin of the family, private property and the state’. Men’s history of civilization was started from the hunter-gatherer phase, where women held an important position by occupying the land and producing/preserving offspring; whereas men held the role of the hunter.
At this phase, kinship was based on the matriarchal system, which is traced through the mother’s lineage. This placed women as the controller of the economy because men were more often out hunting. The social change then shifted; men no longer hunted and started to move from one place to another for agricultural purposes. Men began to accumulate and build a strong economic basis, building a pattern of ownership of the material-based assets. Thus, the power relations and system of lineage shifted to the patriarchal system, which is based on the father’s lineage, because it was men who owned the larger accumulation of material assets and had a higher mobility than women. Women were not able to advance because they had no access to develop themselves. The implication could be seen from the dichotomy of public-private roles for men and women by following the change in nature. Men are the sky, providing rain and sunshine; whereas women are the earth, receiving, producing, and giving birth to the living beings. This principle is implemented in humans’ lives until today; men are active, women are passive. Such assumption is the characteristic of patriarchy in reality. Men are the ones who construct culture and history. Therefore in English the term is ‘His-story’, and not ‘Her-story’.
The feminist methodology aims to realize a women culture, in order to change, expand, and disseminate so that women will no longer be ‘The Second Sex’ or ‘the other’, unable to change her course of life. This is carried out by working, becoming an intellectual, and transforming society while rejecting the justification of ‘the other’. The principle that must be incorporated is ‘Go to work, become intellectuals, work toward transformation of society and refuse to internalize othernesses’.
In particular, the basic assumption proposed in the usage of the feminist methodology is the inequality or oppression that takes place in the discourse of ‘man made world’. Feminist researchers struggle for the need of a basic change in society and culture. This research theorizes awareness-raising actions of the differences and differentiating of men and women. This kind of science is thus non-doctrinal and flexible or heterodoxa (variety). It is from this that the results of science and the methodology to achieve them have the capacity to emancipate.
Second Day, 14 June 2011
The second day focused on the introduction to several methods of research, including feminist interviews, feminist case study, feminist analysis, and feminist action research. Apart from that, participants were invited to use research as one of the tools to observe the social reality of women. The materials covered the methodological approaches that could be chosen to reveal the social reality of women in the research areas.
This session took a particular focus on the ways to develop a framework of analysis from the observation that is conducted, use an interview method to discover the reality that women face, and recognize the strengths of the location of research. Also explained in this introductory session were the values of the steps of research, namely: Introduction, Trust-building, Friendship, and Participation.
These steps of research are the basis in conducting a feminist methodology; whereas the four Feminist Methodologies offered in this training include: 1) Feminist Interview; 2) Feminist Case Study; 3) Feminist Analysis; and 4) Feminist Action Research.
SESSION I: Introduction to Research Methods
This session introduced participants to various research methods that in general could support a feminist research. The critical questions that arose were: ‘Is there a method for feminist research?’, ‘If any, what does it consist of?’, ‘What is the urgency of using the feminist methodology and what is the relation of feminist method with other methods?’
The feminist research sparked from the dissatisfaction with the dominant values in society which are discriminative to women (patriarchal values). The feminist research also aims to capture the diverse voices and experiences of women, both individually and collectively. The diversity of women’s voices and experiences can be revealed using a feminist analysis; an analysis which aims to liberate women from the injustice that women are entrapped in. This type of research maintains the value of subjectivity and women’s personal experiences. The result of this research leads to an intellectual revolution which will change the oppressive tradition that women are subjected to.
SESSION II: Feminist Interview
In this session, the interviewer (Erni Agustini) encouraged participants to discuss interview strategies with the subjects of research using a feminist perspective, as well as understand its differences from non-feminist interviews. The aim of this discussion was to make participants understand how to dig information, all the while respecting the research subjects’ opinions and thoughts.
Feminist interviews bridge and enable a connection between the researcher and the subjects of research, between the knower and the known. This requires women, and not only men, to be a subject with the right to produce knowledge (knower). The standpoint in feminist interviews is to side with women who had experienced injustice. Consequently, a reciprocal and equal interaction will be formed between the researcher and the subject of research. Through feminist interviews, a researcher includes her self-reflection as a woman who shares similar experiences relating the issues of research.
The emphasis on feminist interviews is to tap into individuals’ opinions, thoughts, and memories in their own languages rather than the researcher’s language. This type of interview also provides various possibilities of the involvement (or participation) of (female) subjects of research in the form of research collaboration. The intention is to encourage the transformation of personal knowledge in the process of research, thus pushing for women’s empowerment.
SESSION III: Feminist Case Study
The aim of this session’s discussion was to train participants in determining types of case studies which demonstrate issues relating to gender-based power relations using the feminist standpoint. The speaker, Sita Aripurnami, explained that through case studies a researcher would be able to represent women’s experiences and grant authority to their voices or experiences.
Case study is a description of a situation or problem that needs to be overcome and the description of how a decision is taken to address the situation or problem. The description in case studies will illustrate the real situation, as it is, or conceal several parts for the sake of the involved parties’ privacy. In short, case study is a way to document information and articulate efforts that have been taken by an individual or a group of women in tackling an issue. The information gained would be used to understand the issue of oppression in a social group. A feminist case study attempts to represent women’s experiences in giving the authority for their voices or experiences. The language or perspective written in the study case would use the first-hand language or perspective of the subjects, therefore presenting a precise and truthful description and representation of their experiences.
Case study can also present a/an individual figure, group, episode, process, community, or society. Thus, the aims of case studies include: 1) to highlight the reality of women’s experiences; 2) to analyze the changes of a symptom; 3) to analyze the significance of a symptom for future occurrences; and 4) to analyze the existing relationship in a symptom.
SESSION IV: Feminist Content Analysis
In this session’s discussion, participants were asked to read texts and understand their explicit meanings. The speaker, Myra Diarsi, stated that a feminist content analysis is a systematic study which carefully analyzes a series of objects (cultural artifacts) or events in a systematic manner, by counting or interpreting their themes. The texts researched by feminists are artefacts produced by, about, or from women and vice versa. The studied cultural artifacts are products from individual activities, social organizations, technology, and cultural patterns. The materials include written notes, narration and visual texts, material culture, and behavioral residue. Feminist content analysis is used to find textual contradictions which describe the powerful effects of patriarchy.
Feminist content analysis itself is principally the effort to extract a meaning from or interpretation of the contents, as cultural artifacts have always been made and interpreted by men, about men, and for men. Another inseparable part in the discussion of interpretation is the issue of representation or attendance. The cultural artifacts that have been made and produced could be interpreted in the context of for whom the cultural artifact is made, and what kind of cultural artifact is missing or void.
Second Day: Notes of Discussion
In this session on Feminist Methodology, the facilitator gave a short explanation of the characteristics of Feminist Research Methodology. A feminist research should:
Attempt to understand the construction of women.
Prioritize on being subjective, in order to perform a content analysis, etc.
Use an inductive approach, to build a concept, hypothesis, and theory based on women’s experiences.
The facilitator closed the introduction by explaining several types of Feminist Research Methodology that contribute to a Feminist Methodology Research:
Phenomemology, whose theories focus on the experiences of individuals, according to the social reality. This reality is built on intersubjectivity, because humans share subjectivity with one another. An actor’s subjectivity is important in order to understand the existence of women – women’s community thus becomes essential. It also aims to get the subject’s perspective from their daily behaviors, verbal words, and gestures.
Field research, which is conducted by immersing in the field.
The methodology developed from feminists’ critique to the traditional social research method, deeming it to be overly rigid, scientific, objective and positivist, with men as the sole source of information. Women’s voices and experiences are considered as not valid because they are considered as inconsistent, changeable, emotional, and unconfident to speak out. Men are thus considered as the owner of truth, while women are asked to give up their rights to speak and be represented by men. The experts of traditional social sciences stated that the theory which is resulted from an observation of the empirical world will be more valid and useful compared to theories based on the deductive process where women’s experiences are the foundation of the theory.
The techniques of the feminist methodology tend to be qualitative as it attempts to grasp the meaning. Such techniques include observation, which consists of:
Complete participation on women for women
Participant as observer, where researchers are involved in an ongoing activity, yet without influencing its dynamics.
Observer as participant, where researchers are involved in an ongoing activity and distance themselves from the happenings.
Complete observation, where researchers are part of the community or society, yet are uninvolved in a specific activity.
From all the methods that were explained, the facilitator concluded that the benefits of the usage of feminist research method are:
Capturing the meaning: this provides the researcher with an opportunity to analyze the subjective experience of the social actor; while meaning holds an association with the experience.
Capturing the process: this approach enables the researcher to understand the logic that guides a special behavior, meaning, or understanding on a social phenomenon;
Capturing the context: the researcher can place the attitude and behavior of the social actors in their biographies as well as a larger social context;
Capture the specificity (specific event): the special regulations of behavior as something that conflicts the common.
Third Day, 15 June 2011
SESSION I: Oral History
The first session on the third day was started with the session of ‘Oral History’. The speaker (Theodore J. Erlijna) stated that the significance of oral history is in revealing the ‘gaps’ in information which disappeared due to the lack of discussion or publication. The basis of oral history itself is the incomplete sources of recorded history and the limited access to them. A majority of recorded sources on incidents or violent cases only support the actors’ story. Consequently, written sources on the experiences of victims, particularly female victims, are very scarce if not none. Therefore, oral history is seen as a promising method because it is a method which digs into one’s memory through recorded dialogues between the interviewer and the interviewees. At this process, a researcher is required to equip himself/herself well with a prior knowledge of the interviewee, the topic of interview, and a quality recorder.
Oral history is based on the event, resulting in various interpretations. Oral history is also able to integrate women in the writing of history — despite the fact that a number of them no longer exists, their story could still be studied by how the public felt in that context. It also creates a new historical source: transcripts of the dialogues and interviews. However, oral history only serves as an aid tool and can only be implemented for events that have long passed.
The contribution of oral history is that it offers a different perspective from the traditional recorded history, which have been dismissed or missed, for reasons of characteristics. Oral history also reveals information behind the screen and reveals the historical daily life of the social community.
Oral history can significantly offer a means of integrating women in the writing of history, and even challenge the dominant discourses in the social, economic, and political spheres which have distorted the lives of women.
SESSION II: Feminist Ethnography
This session explained in a comprehensive manner the Feminist Ethnography and its contribution to the effort to change the imbalanced relationship between men and women. The speaker (Risa Permanadeli) stated that the current ethnography or field work uses a plural-method research, usually including observation, participation, archive analysis and interview. In short, ethnography attempts to combine the strengths and weaknesses of every method. This is particularly because the positivist method (such as survey and testing) is largely criticized by feminists due to its androcentric tendency. Thus, alternative methods such as Feminist Ethnography focus on interpretation, are based on the act of immersing into the social sphere, and aim to gain an inter subjective understanding between the researchers and the research subjects.
Feminist ethnography can produce fundamental concepts which lead to new theories, in order to analyze roles beyond the specific formulation of interviews or observations. It is thus essential as it gives a voice to women and highlights women’s lives, bringing them to the surface.
Feminist ethnography has three main aims that can change the imbalanced power relations of women in society. Such aims consist of: 1) Documenting the lives and activities of women; 2) Understanding women’s experiences from their own perspectives; and 3) Conceptualizing women’s behavior as an expression of the social context.
The principal reason why feminist ethnography is one of the options in conducting a feminist research is because through feminist ethnography, a researcher could understand women’s experiences from women’s own perspective. This would alter the researcher’s point of view and the social context during the time the research takes place.
SESSION III: Feminist Action Research
The speaker, Edriana Noerdin, explained several points of discussion. In general, this session covered the discussion of participatory research in order to regulate the agenda of women’s empowerment in fighting for a gender-fair power relation, how researchers can capture the subject’s perspective in interpreting the reality they face, and how such perspectives are used to guide their behaviour.
Specifically, feminist action research is a scientific feminist activity that is inherently related to the action of changing imbalanced power relations. This type of research is run synergically, through both action and evaluation, with the orientation of changing the condition and position of as well as empowering subordinated women.
The aim of the feminist action research is to empower the oppressed in order to make them understand and able to change their oppressive situation. In addition, the vision of this research is to create a new and better relationship in terms of women’s condition and position, better laws and regulations, as well as better and stronger institutions. Feminist action research is not only specifically based on observations and interviews, but also requires real intervention (both political and moral changes) to create change.
SESSION IV: Literature Review
The Literature Review Session was facilitated by Muninggar Saraswati and Ika Wahyu Priaryani, who discussed the urgency of conducting literature review during the process of research. This session aims to present the concept and function of literature review of a scientific research, as well as present the concept and urgency of an international-standard referencing (writing references and annotated bibliography). The annotation consists of the ways and steps to train researchers ‘dissect’ a scientific paper and make references as an inseparable part of the literature review.
Literature Review is the summary of a number of scientific papers on a particular subject within our research topic. It is a description, conclusion, and critical evaluation on each scientific paper. Literature review is part of the conceptual context in oder to place our study in the existing map of science and show our scientific contribution. The importance of literature review is due to the assumption that knowledge is an accumulation of what others have found/studied.
Generally, the steps in Literature Review are 1) Reading the related papers or journals; 2) Evaluating the said papers; 3) Compiling a summary of the publication; and 4) Combining everything into a complete writing or scientific narration on a particular issue or research topic.
The components of literature reviews are: 1) formulating the issue by determining the subject or area which will be studied or written and the main components of the issue; 2) finding the relevant literature which are relevant to our proposed subject of research; 3) evaluating the data by defining which paper will provide a significant contribution in understanding the subject of our research or study; and 4) analyzing and interpreting, which are analyzing and discussing the findings or conclusion of each paper before finally formulating the conclusion.
In making a literature review, there are four acknowledged systems of referencing and annotated bibliography: 1) Oxford Style; 2) Harvard Style; 3) Chicago Manual dan 4) APA Style.
SESSION V: Summary of All Methods
This session aimed to provide a clarification and enrichment of the materials that had been given to participants in order to understand the research methods such as Oral History, Feminist Ethnography and other methods, e.g. the Feminist Action Research and Literature Review. The facilitator also conveyed that Ethnography emphasizes on the details of daily events, as well as the cycle of life, for a long period of time. It is also useful for the baseline of data and can last for 10 years.
Third Day: Notes of Discussion
All the methodology that have been explained are tools of analysis in conducting research, which side with women and have a value of subjectivity. Subjectivity is imperative in order to highlight diversity as every individual has different characteristics – thus, it is an alternative from the positivist approach which is unable to present such diversity. Hence, the importance of Case Study and Feminist Ethnography – they can emphasize and draw attention to the subjectivity and perspectives of individuals in society. The Feminist Action Research is also needed to create change. Changes in society often do not happen from within, as changes on the surface do not change what is within. This type of research enters the structure within as it holds the values and norms, thus the symbol system can be read relatively well.
The key to feminist methodology is subjectivity (individual experience, diversity, endorsement); we should thus be able to reveal the existing gender relation. It is known that each methodology has its own consequences – we cannot carelessly choose and use a particular one without any basis. Our choice of methodology mirrors how we analyze the data; how that research is written is determined by our form of analysis.
Fourth Day, 16 June 2011
SESSION I: Formulation of Research Design or Research Proposal
This session focused on formulating a research design or research proposal; including the explanation on how to do a review of the social phenomenon that will be studied, how literature review helps to provide a basis of thought to observe the social problems that are within our interest to study, how to formulate research questions, and techniques of data collection – both qualitative and quantitative.
In this session, participants were expected to gain an adequate understanding of the management of research. This includes the various needs of immersing in the field, from the coordination process, the preparation of a complete and detailed field report, interview trancripts, permits and management of research reports and their publications. All materials provided were adequate to prepare oneself as a quality researcher.
SESSION II: Making of Research Proposal/Design
Participants were introduced to the making of research designs, consisting of: formulating the background of research to present the social phenomenon, followed by the formulation of research questions. The facilitator would give some guidelines which comprise of the principles in formulating a proposal. Before formulating a proposal, a researcher should ask the following questions:
What is your motivation to do this research project?
What will you do?
How will you do it?
Who will do it?
Where will the research be done?
How long will the research take?
How much will the research cost?
Other guidelines for a research proposal is the concept of S.M.A.R.T:
S. Specific. In formulating an issue for the research that will be carried out, the researcher should be already focused on a certain phenomenon. Moreover, the location of research has to be clear and precise. The subjects of research should be identified well and logically in order to answer the problem; thus they should have been determined beforehand. The aim and contribution of the research results should be specific and innovative. Avoid proposing researches with the aim to find out how to make a certain product; they are not innovative as they already exist.
M. Measurable. The objective and outcomes of the research should be measurable so researchers can estimate how to achieve such outcomes. In addition, they should aso be measurable in terms of cost and time. Avoid making researches that do not have a time limit.
A. Achievable. This refers to the estimation of whether or not the research objectives can be achieved, as well as the level of difficulty in obtaining the data. For instance, a research on the confidential military information would be next to impossible. Thus, the level of difficulty in obtaining data should be weighed well.
R. Realistic. Be realistic. It is important for researchers to ensure that their researches are realistic and in accordance with their capacity, as well as within their time, budget, energy, etc.
T. Timebound. Researchers could limit and schedule the time and duration of the research. Research issues should be actual and important in terms of the time context, while the schedule of research should also be clearly defined.
Points of Discussion:
Explanation on the reasons for the participants’ interest in their chosen research topic.
Simulation of the formulation of questions in a research proposal. The theme is formulated beforehand, followed by a background of the issue. The background of the issue is a short description which should attract readers to read the paper. Participants were required to do a presentation of the social phenomenon that they would study.
SESSION III: Formulation of Theoretical Framework
Participants were trained to formulate the theoretical framework in order to answer research questions based on the literature review. Its urgency was to enable participants to understand the theoretical framework which will be used as a foundation in the analysis of social issues.
SESSION IV: Presentation of Research Proposal
Participants presented the research proposal that they have made during the process of learning in the course of the training. Participants were also guided to decide on a quality and interesting research proposal to be carried out using the feminist research method that they have learned.
SESSION V: Explanation of the Follow-up to Research Writing
During this session, the facilitator explained the follow-up act to the training of the basic feminist research method by writing a research design, as participants were expected to understand the outcome of the Feminist Methodology Training process.
SESSION VI: Conclusion and Evaluation
This session consisted of the conclusion and evaluation of the overall training in order to obtain inputs for the improvement of future activities. The aim of this session was also to ensure that participants could draw a conclusion of all the modules and discussions of the training, as well as measure participants’ final comprehension of the Feminist Methodology. Lastly, it was intended to ensure that the participants had learned the importance of using Feminist Methodology in research.
Fourth Day: Notes of Discussion
Researches should be managed and directed well. Building a proposal organizing pattern is also needed. In building such a pattern, a researcher should first compose an executive summary of the proposal. The objective is that the reader of the proposal could directly read the executive summary. This executive summary should be short but concise; consisting of everything in the proposal, conveyed in a concise language. It should be in approximately three paragraphs, similar to an abstract.
Afterwards, a researcher should describe the research problems and document them well in order to clarify the significance of the research. Supporting information, such as statistics or previous researches, is also required – this review is important to demonstrate our specific points of research. In this part, the researcher should describe and convince readers the significance of the research and its time limit.
Following this is the research objectives. The researcher should indicate the measurable expected outcomes from the research project – this adheres to the aforementioned ‘measurable’ point. Researchers should be able to show the scope of research, the aim of the research, what will be done, and when it will be conducted. Upon the completion of the research, the researcher should be able to evaluate and determine whether the research is successful or not in achieving its objectives. The researcher should also identify the long-term and short-term goals of the research.
In the research proposal, a researcher should also determine the methodology. During the process of research, the methodology – feminst methodology – was also discussed. A researcher can plan the steps in achieving the objective of research. This part can be started with a description on how to approach the research problems. The methodology part does not refer to the definitions of terms such as ‘observation’, ‘interview’, or ‘case study’, but rather, how to approach the problem. The researcher should also describe the subjects who will be interviewed, and so on. Also as essential is stating the details of the methodology, the population that will be the research subjects, and how to anticipate the management of research problems. This relates to the management of research.
After the dynamic and inspiring training, participants gained the following knowledge:
From the usage of feminist as a perspective and analysis tool, it was discovered that many researches have not been able to contribute to the research subjects nor change the imbalanced power relation that they are subjected to, particularly the female subjects.
Participants learned that feminist researches are related to Basic Principles or Non-positivist Values: the nature of researches using the feminist methodology is certainly subjective. The extent to which such subjectivity is still valid as an international- or national-standard scientific research is as far as the researcher can assume responsibility for all the data or findings of the research.
Basic Concepts in Feminist Research: Facilitators explained basic concepts in feminist researches. Other abstract concepts would be the researcher’s homework – which is why the Literature Review session was greatly urgent, as on every incomprehension of a certain concept, a researcher should without delay seek and enhance herself by asking questions, reading, and discussing. This should be the basic characteristic and soul of a researcher.
Through discussions throughout the four day training, participants understood that in a research, one should consider and plan very carefully her research visions, in accordance with:
Management of research. This session discussed the adjustment of the application of ideal research forms with the management of research. In this discussion, it is observable that research management holds an important role to support the running of research. The discussion of the management of research is of particular interest when observing the phenomena in research institutes, which face a limitation of time and funds from the funding donor, but are still under the demand to perform the ideal research with the best results.
A feminist-method research in theory and practice. As a researcher concentrating in women’s issues and gender equality, it is necessary for the researcher to have a strong knowledge of researches using the feminist method. This is particularly imperative for WRI researchers as researches using the feminist method has a different uniqueness with researches in general, including the style of writing.
The observation of Indonesian women’s condition in the current context and integrate it with the feminist credo. Confusion tends to happen in adopting a stance regarding a certain issue, for instance the affirmative action for women. On one hand, there is the consideration that a radical feminist-like perspective, which sees the power struggle of chairs as a matter of competition that should be won, is needed. On the other hand, many are still uncertain with such point of view, and would opt for a more liberal stance or the safer moderate one. The inability to determine one’s stance would prove to be rather inconvenient in the context of research.***