The Implications of Feminist Epistemology for Knowledge Production in Social Welfare

사회복지연구를 위한 페미니스트 인식론의 비평과 함의

  • Sung, Jung-Suk (Department of Social Welfare at Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Lee, Na-Young (Department of Social Welfare at Chung-Ang University)
  • Received : 2010.02.01
  • Accepted : 2010.03.15
  • Published : 2010.05.31


The purpose of this paper is to critically analyze the way of knowledge production in social welfare and to graft feminist epistemology to the discipline of social welfare. To put it more concretely, as analyzing the epistemological and methodological issues appeared in the articles in "orean Journal of Social Welfare", this study examines the meanings of feminist epistemology and its implications to research and practice in social welfare. From its onset, feminist research criticized the 'mainstream' ways of conceptualizing knowledge construction via research conducted upon a positivist epistemological position. Particularly, western feminists have problematized the androcentric bias embedded within the so-called 'social sciences' that we have taken for granted as 'scientific,' 'objective,' and 'neutral,' and attempted to redirect and reformulate the way of knowledge production with new concepts of 'strong objectivity,' 'partial/situated knowledge,' and 'strong reflection.' We believe that the implications of feminist epistemology to enable us to reflect the power relationship between subject and object, I and Other, and the researcher and the researched will contribute to recover the original vision of social welfare as critical theory and liberating practice in social work.