Feminist methodology appeared in the second half of the twentieth century in response to the traditional or “masculine” methods of scientific research which did not touch upon social marginalization of women. Feminist researchers criticized the positivist approach which ignored the realities of women’s social life. Over the years, they developed quite a broad range of methods and strategies to analyze the aspects of men’s and women’s social functions and gender roles. Feminist methodologies attempted to overcome gender bias in scientific research and promote the acknowledgment of the researcher’s point of view.
Feminist methods frequently question traditional scientific reasoning and try to investigate social phenomena from their own standpoint. According to feminists, “masculine” methods for research concentrated upon objectivity and control over the natural processes. The feminist approach to science, on the contrary, involved fewer distinctions between subject and object of the study and tolerated the possibility of multiple truths. Feminist scientists supposed that they are in a better position to perform adequate representation of the social phenomena than male scientists who impose redundant limits which distort the results of scientific research.
To produce a better truth than that of a “masculine” investigation, feminist sociologists used several approaches. They treated the mind as a reliable source of knowledge but supposed that the researcher shall stay away from their social context. They also believed that researcher must not lose their individuality but take some distance from the subject of their investigation. These and some other methodologies are considered to be post-positivist as they questioned whether the reality can be actually grasped with any scientific approach.