Volume 10 Issue 2 (2014): Giving Back in Field Research
Giving Back in Solidarity

Why Feminism? How Feminist Methodologies Can Aid Our Efforts to ‘Give Back’ Through Research

Hekia Ellen Golden Bodwitch
University of California, Berkeley
Published July 1, 2014
  • research ethics,
  • feminism,
  • research practice,
  • social theory,
  • science studies


In this thematic section, the authors take a critical stance to the notion of giving back. They emphasize that giving back should be a model of solidarity and movement building, not charity. They push us to consider the ways in which the framework of giving back may actually reinforce hierarchical relationships between the researcher and the researched. In doing so, they offer new ways of thinking about the relationship between researchers and their communities of subjects. The strategies employed by these authors resonate with work from feminist activists and scholars whose approaches bring us alternative theories and methods through which to address the potentially dangerous effects of speaking for others through research. Examined alongside the giving back pieces in this section, these feminist contributions illuminate ways that we can give back by advancing the anti-oppression agendas of marginalized subjects through our research.