Doing Feminist Interpersonal Communication Research: A Call for Action, Two Methodological Approaches, and Theoretical Potentials
Denker, Katherine J.
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What does it mean to " do " feminist interpersonal communication research? Interpersonal communication studies hold great potential for practical insights into how relationships are (en)gendered, informed (and even constituted) by patriarchal histories, and subject to cultural and institutional inequalities based on the identities of those in (or not in) a given relationship. Unfortunately, little research has embraced feminist approaches to interpersonal communication studies. In this essay, we seek to remedy this shortcoming by exploring some of the ways that interpersonal communication scholars can continue to integrate feminist approaches and perspectives into their work. We specifically examine two possibilities: feminist-informed participatory action research and integrating feminist critique into empirical interpersonal communication studies. As our arguments in this essay reflect, we believe that these particular approaches, similar to other feminist methodological possibilities, have the potential to impact interpersonal communication axiology and praxeology. To set the scene for these methodologies, we first overview feminist approaches to research and theorizing in the communication discipline as a whole as well as in interpersonal communication studies.