Feminist research in a female-dominated profession: How can this lens help us to understand ourselves better in speech-language pathology?
International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Taylor & Francis
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Purpose: Feminism is a theoretical position that allows researchers to explore, identify and potentially address issues that negatively impact on women, including on their health and health care. It has been used for many years in health care professions such as nursing. Method: In this paper, we argue that feminist research could underpin innovation in our professional practice as speech-language pathologists. We present research from within and outside of speech pathology that supports this position, and describe how feminism as an epistemology can guide qualitative research and discuss how other health care professions have used this framework to ask questions across broad areas. Conclusion: A feminist lens enables critique of ourselves and our profession to help us to understand how being female-dominated interacts with being portrayed, understood or conceptualised as feminine, and the consequences of this for professional practice. Feminism could also support us to better understand and support our clients, who may experience their disability, health and lives in ways that vary because of gendered experiences, expectations, or limitations.