Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Kate Purcell, Abstract (Feminism Counts)


Research as evidence: understanding the world in order to change it

Kate Purcell

University of Warwick


This paper will argue that feminist research is simply meticulous, comprehensive research that needs to use both qualitative and quantitative methods to map, monitor and interpret gender relations and their implications in order to understand how social structures and processes are maintained and challenged. Drawing on recent research on the impact of higher education expansion on occupational change that drew on secondary analyses of national statistical data, longitudinal surveys and detailed telephone interviewing, the importance (and limitations) of quantitative analysis will be illustrated and the case made for mixed methods research. It will be argued that mainstream social sciences continue to under-estimate gender as a core driver of social change.