Appreciating phenomenology and feminism: Researching quiltmaking and communication [Book Review]

Human Studies 17 (1):65 - 80 (1994)
The effort to “appreciate” phenomenology and feminism in the study of quiltmaking discourse self-reflexively joins a philosophy of experience with a politics of women's experiences. At the same time it reveals method to be an embodied practice which involves knowledge as power, and it discovers power relations between researchers and the researched within particular contexts and relationships. For phenomenology, these reflections may encourage closer attention to the en-gendering and situating of the subject within social and cultural conditions. Also they may challenge us to ask: who benefits from phenomenological understanding? For feminism, this effort may encourage greater self-critique in regard to the phenomena of women's experiences. Simultaneously, these reflections may temper an uncritical embracing of phenomenological methods. Perhaps these reflections can best be seen as a working out of a pattern that joins phenomenology, feminism, and their compatible and contradictory relations like the three layers of a quilt. In this embodied and ongoing labor of piecing and quilting I have attempted to expose the seams and the gaps rather than smooth over their differences. Research, like quiltmaking, functions as both a noun and a verb, a product and a practice, engaged bodily and mindfully as a project in the world
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