Gender and pregnancy in the field: Autobiographical reflections on gendered aspects of researching security in Brazil

Cavalcanti, R.P. 2017. Gender and pregnancy in the field: Autobiographical reflections on gendered aspects of researching security in Brazil. Gender in the Field. King's College London 13 - 13 Jun 2016 Gender Studies Network.

TitleGender and pregnancy in the field: Autobiographical reflections on gendered aspects of researching security in Brazil
AuthorsCavalcanti, R.P.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

This article contributes to the literature on feminist methods (Alcoff 1991, Kirsch 2005, Ryan-Flood and Gill 2010, Sharp and Kremer 2006) by analysing gendered aspects of conducting research in understudied low-income communities in the northeast of Brazil. The paper provides reflections on the experience of being a female researcher embodying reproduction and production while doing fieldwork. From a feminist perspective, the article draws on auto-ethnographic field notes written during the first data collection period of the study (June-October 2013) in Recife. In addition, I explore gendered and class-based attitudes towards my status as a pregnant researcher. An investigation of the methodological and gendered challenges I faced allows for an analysis of the ways in which patriarchal relations currently manifest themselves in some academic field work sites. It exposes some of the ways in which masculine hegemony affects female researchers’ experiences in the field. The evidence presented reveals that the experience of being a woman, and pregnant, in the Global South, can expose researchers to extended dimensions of existing social inequalities, beyond the gender, class and racial inequalities that are visibly apparent in the landscape and demographic statistics of divided cities and workplaces. This paper suggests that further research is necessary to examine how gender relations manifest during fieldwork and how the problems they cause can be addressed.

KeywordsBrazil; fieldwork; gender; pregnancy; security; police.
Year2017
ConferenceGender in the Field
PublisherGender Studies Network
Web address (URL)https://www.academia.edu/34322888/Gender_and_pregnancy_in_the_ivory_tower_Autobiographical_reflections_on_gendered_aspects_of_researching_security_in_Brazil

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