A Feminist in the Forest: Situated Knowledges and Mixing Methods in Natural Resource Management

25 August 2006

Donna Haraway’s (1991) concept of partial or situated knowledges has been a major influence on feminist methodological debates within geography. In this paper, I argue that geographers can interrogate the partiality of knowledge by developing research designs that incorporate methods derived from different epistemological traditions. The silences and gaps between data sets can be explored to interrogate the partiality of knowledge produced in different theoretical and methodological contexts. Also, advocates of interpretive methodologies can add substantially to theoretical debates over epistemology by demonstrating how the results from all methods are incomplete and subject to power – and positionality – laden interpretations. Using different methods is one way to highlight this issue and to challenge the hegemony of positivist science within mainstream academic and policy circles.