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4.4 - Epistemology of gender studies


This fourth set of studies aims, on the one hand, at deconstructing a few classical oppositions between naturalism and constructivism and, on the other hand, at extending the reflection of gender studies on intersectionality. They will reconsider specific difficult points in the opposition between the constructivist and naturalistic arguments that can be seen in gender studies. We will try to determine to what extent the biological sciences can be a powerful help in challenging some mythological images of maternity and paternity generally presented as conform to “Nature”, but to a nature that has never existed. The reflection on the complex intertwining of power relationships is deepened. Indeed, far from denying the other forms of oppression, and thanks to the concepts of “consubstantiality of social relationships” (D. Kergoat) or intersectionality (K. Crenshaw), gender research provides means to study the articulations between the various hierarchical relationships (of class, sexuality or “race”) that enable to conceive social groups in their heterogeneity. This reflection will be expanded with a specific focus on how these articulations can be understood from a methodological point of view.