A few weeks ago I attended to my first and hopefully last module on quantitative research methods and I realized how useless are the measurement levels protocols to understand a society that is blurring the constrictions of binarism.
Today I was looking for some inspiration to write an assignment and I found this fantastic video where some feminist psychologist talk about research methods. Its worth watching the full video, but I will highlight how Cannie Stark uses the idea of a messy variable. Back then women were not even considered relevant subjects to any study, today when I ask about considering the possibility of using an interval for measuring the gender identification (or any other non binary measurement) the fear of dealing with messy variables rises again. The variable measurement level for gender is supposed to be nominal, and if you want to consider something beyond male and female you are encouraged to use the label "others".
Like it or not, the world now is full of messy variables, and the messy variables will increase in the following years. That being said, what happen when researchers give zero fucks about the social context of data? happens that "Others" became the solution for every new messy variable.
In 1993, Liz Stanley and Sue Wise listed seven key principles of doing qualitative research based upon feminist models of knowing. This principles are interesting to take under consideration precisely because they help you think about the context and deal with the issues of perspective, positionality, bias and reflexivity.
Here the list they made:
1) The researcher/research relationship should not be a hierarchical relationship
2) Emotion should be seen as valuable aspects of the research process
3) The conceptualizations of "objectivity" and "subjectivity" as binaries or dichotomies must not occur in research
4) The researcher's intellectual autobiography must be taken under consideration when viewing their conclusions
5) The researcher must consider the existence and management of different "realities" or versions held by the researchers and the researched
6) The researcher must be aware of issues surrounding authority and power in research
7) The researcher must recognize that there is an authority and power in the written representation of research