Reconstructing Gendered Biographies in Transcultural Research Settings: Methodological Challenges

Friday, July 18, 2014: 8:30 AM-10:20 AM
Room: Booth 60
RC38 Biography and Society (host committee)

Language: English

In biography research gender is conceived not only as a social construction which is produced and reproduced in ongoing interaction processes but also as a biographically constructed and reconstructed social category. The thesis of the biographical construction of gender implies certain challenges for a reconstructive methodology in biography research: How can we “discover” gender constructions in biographical narratives without presupposing “typical” male/female attributes? The problem appears to be even more complex in transcultural research settings because gender constructions as well as patterns of biographical narratives and life courses are related to the respective societal and cultural context in which they are produced and communicated. In particular, the notion of the constructed character of gender and biographies makes it necessary to rethink and question common methodological premises of interpretative research and leads to a reflection of contemporary research and fieldwork practices. In this session we invite contributions focusing on the methodological challenges that the theoretical concept of gendered biographies implies in the field of transcultural biography research.
Session Organizers:
Bettina DAUSIEN, University of Vienna, Austria, Irini SIOUTI, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany and Hiromi TANAKA, Meiji University, Japan
Irini SIOUTI, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, Bettina DAUSIEN, University of Vienna, Austria and Hiromi TANAKA, Meiji University, Japan
Why Empirical Sociology Needs Life Stories (Oral Presentation)
Daniel BERTAUX, CNRS, France

Biographic Self Positioning As Narrated Argumentation (Oral Presentation)
Noga GILAD, University of Haifa, Israel