American Pragmatism and Feminism: Developing fresh avenues of sociological inquiry

Nick Rumens, Mihaela Kelemen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Despite its impact on public administration, policy development, education, philosophy and politics, American pragmatism has made a relatively small impression on the social sciences. In particular, American pragmatism has seldom influenced feminism, which is remarkable given the potentially striking affinities between these two disciplines. Drawing upon the pragmatist philosophy of John Dewey and the work of feminists who support a pragmatist approach to the study of gender, this article discusses the chequered history of relations between the two disciplines. It also focuses on the methodological possibilities of establishing a pragmatist-feminist position. Taking ethnography as a means to illustrate our ideas, we suggest that a pragmatist-feminist ethnography can help social scientists to rethink theory in terms of its practical application, articulate the value of an anti-foundational view of knowledge and promote investigating people's concrete experiences for understanding gender inequalities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35
    Number of pages55
    JournalContemporary Pragmatism
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


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