Feminist research has become very popular over the past 30 years, which has helped our understanding society. This also means that women are seen as more important than before. Ray Pawson's research has helped our understanding of society as it describes the weak thesis. Eichler's non-sexist research has also helped our understanding of society. Ann Oakley and post-modern feminists perspective on society have also helped our understanding of society. Although feminist perspectives have helped our understanding of society it is useful to look at different perspectives such as functionalism and Marxism.
Ray Pawson's research has helped our understanding of society as he distinguishes between the weak thesis and the strong thesis of feminist research methods. In terms of the weak thesis, research methods in sociology are essentially sound. But there is a problem, this is that in practice they are shot through with sexism. Eichler's non-sexist research methods is an example of the approach to purge them of sexism.
She identifies major areas of sexism which infuse the research process. What they include are; Androcentricity, which is the viewing of the world from a traditional male perspective. The second is overgeneralisation, this is when studies deal with only men but present their findings as though they applied to both men and women. For example until recently social mobility studies in Britain were based solely on men.
Ann Oakley's perspective on society has contributed a lot to our understanding of society. She argues that the standard approach to interviewing has the following characteristics; a) it's status as a mechanical instrument of data-collection, b) it's function as a specialised form of conversation in which one person asks the questions and another gives the answers, c) it's characterisation of individuals and d) it's reduction of interviewers to a question asking and...