Methodologies, Epistemologies, Ontologies, Ethics

For the past twenty years, I have been working to translate my reading of feminist epistemologies into qualitative (and more recently postqualitative) research practice. Beginning with five years of working as a participatory research facilitator in South America (mainly for the United Nations Development Program in Bolivia and UNICEF in Mexico), followed by a doctoral dissertation at Cambridge University that focused partly on connections between feminist theories/epistemologies/philosophies and qualitative research, my writing has attended to questions and topics such as:

  • feminist interviewing;
  • how to theorize and do qualitative data analysis;
  • how to theorize and do reflexivity;
  • how to do situated knowledges;
  • how to elicit stories about taken for granted parts of domestic life;
  • how to research domestic and parental responsibilities, and decision-making about paid and unpaid work;
  • how to navigate and theorize the spaces between the stories people tell us/the stories we hear, and the scholarly narratives we tell;
  • distinctions between testimonies, stories, and narratives;
  • reflexivity and diffraction;
  • reading authors’ work diffractively (and respectfully);
  • non representational narrative analysis and ontological narrativity;
  • working with visuals;
  • genealogies of concepts and their connection to methods;
  • translating scholarly work into visual re-presentations;
  • how to theorize and engage in ethical research practice;
  • what can we learn from Indigenous methodologies/epistemologies?;
  • (working with Indigenous scholars), how can we do ethical research practice that is from and for communities, and how can we translate this into broader research practices in non-indigenous contexts?
  • what does it mean to do research that is informed by ethico-onto-epistemologies?;
  • and finally (but perhaps most importantly): how to translate Lorraine Code’s 40 years of developing her ecological thinking (ethico-onto-epistemological) approach into methodological research practices that are ethical, situated and diffractive, and transformative.
  • Some examples of my published work on methodologies, epistemologies, ontologies, and research ethics are listed below. My second edition (UTP, 2018) of Do Men Mother? and a follow up book project on ecologies and genealogies of breadwinning and care (UTP, in progress)  lay out this thinking in some detail.

Image “Layers of Patterns”, courtesy of Christine Martell.

  • Jewel, E., Doucet, A., Falk, J., and Fyke, S. (in press, 2020). Social Knowing, Mental Health, and the Importance of Indigenous Resources: A Case Study of Indigenous Employment Engagement in Southwestern Ontario. Canadian Review of Social Policy (to be posted when published).
  • Doucet, A. (in press, 2021). A Murex, an Angel Wing, the Wider Shore: 
    Ethico-onto-epistemological distinctions between narratives, stories, and testimonies. In N.A. McHugh and A. Doucet (Eds.), Lorraine Code:Thinking responsibly, thinking ecologically. New York: State University of New York Press.
  • Doucet, A. (2018). … Casting our Lot wih Some Ways of Life and Not Others: Epistemic reflexivity, diffraction, epistemic responsibilities. Canadian Review of Sociology (Committing Sociology thematic section on: “Value-Neutral and Value-Oriented Epistemologies of the Social: A Conversation Across Difference”). 55(2), 302-304.
  • Doucet, A. (2018) Decolonizing Family Photographs: Ecological Imaginaries and Non-Representational Ethnographies. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. JCE Doucet. 47, 729-757.
  • Doucet , A. (2018) Feminist epistemologies and ethics: Ecological thinking, situated knowledges, and epistemic responsibilities. In R. Iphofen and M. Tolich. Handbook of qualitative research ethics. London: Sage.
  • Cook, N., Doucet, A., & Rowsell, J. (2017). Visual research and social justice – guest editors’ introduction. Studies in Social Justice, 11(2), 187-194.
  • Doucet, A. (2016). Is the Stay-At-Home Dad (SAHD) a Feminist Concept? A Genealogical, Relational and Feminist Critique. Sex Roles, 75, 4-14. doi: 10.1007/s11199-016-0582-5
  • Doucet, A. and Mauthner, N. (2012) “Knowing Responsibly: Ethics, Feminist Epistemologies and Methodologies” in M. Mauthner, M. Birch, J. Jessop and T. Miller (eds.), Ethics in Qualitative Research. Second Edition. London: Sage, 123-145.
  • Doucet, A and Mauthner, N.S. (2012) “Emotions in/and Knowing” in Hunt, Alan, Walby, Kevin and Dale Spencer (Eds.) Emotions Matter. Toronto: UTP; 161-176
  • Doucet, A. and Mauthner, N.S.  (2008) “What Can Be Known and How? Narrated Subjects and the Listening Guide”. Qualitative Research, 8 (3): 399-409.
  • Doucet A. and Mauthner, N. S. (2007) “Feminist approaches to Qualitative Interviews” in P. Alasuutari, J. Brannen and L. Bickman (Eds.) Handbook of Social Research Methods.  London: Sage; pp. 327-342.
  • Mauthner, N. S. and Doucet, A. (2007) “Reflexive accounts and accounts of reflexivity in qualitative data analysis” in A. E. Bryman (ed.) Qualitative Research 2. Benchmark in Social Research Methods. London: Sage.
  • Doucet, A. (2001) “You see the need perhaps more clearly than I have”: Exploring gendered processes of domestic responsibility, Journal of Family Issues, 22 (3), pp. 328-357, 2001.
  • Doucet, A. (1996) “Encouraging Voices: Towards More Creative Methods for Collecting Data on Gender and Household Labour”, in Lydia Morris and Stina Lyon (eds.) Gender Relations in the Public and the Private. London: Macmillan; pp. 156-173.

For access to other articles: please see my my google citations page, my ResearchGate page, or e-mail me:

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