Power, pregnancy and prison:the impact of a researcher's pregnancy on qualitative interviews with women prisoners

Hart, Emily Luise (2014) Power, pregnancy and prison:the impact of a researcher's pregnancy on qualitative interviews with women prisoners. In: Reflexivity in criminological research. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 102-114. ISBN 9781349478743

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Abstract

This chapter explores how a researcher’s pregnancy impacted on a series of qualitative semi-structured interviews with women prisoners. I will argue that the utilising of a more general feminist approach which is sympa- thetic to the needs of women and which has the notion of reflexivity and a commitment to less exploitative research at its centre was in the case of this research preferable to adopting a full feminist standpoint. Feminist standpoint theory reflects the view that ‘women (or feminists) occupy a social location that affords them/us a privileged access to social phenom- ena’ (Longino 1993, 201). In Money, Sex and Power (1983), Nancy Hartstock claimed that it was women’s unique standpoint within the social world that provided the justification for feminists’ claims at truth. In the research on which this chapter is based, commonality was certainly found between myself and the women prisoners in terms of both our gender and our experi- ences surrounding children, pregnancy and motherhood and this enhanced the research process. There were, however, other differences that our shared gender could not overcome, for example, in terms of class, power and sta- tus that meant our experiences of the social world were poles apart. I could not therefore claim to have epistemological privilege as other inequalities between us had to be considered and the approach used here therefore, while feminist in nature, stops short of a full feminist standpoint.

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
ID Code:
81804
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
27 Sep 2016 12:20
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2020 11:08