The Value of Girl Talk in Research

by Natalie Kersnick

Traditional approaches to research typically emphasize objectivity in order to ensure a study’s reliability, however feminist theorists have long questioned this perspective and instead argued in favor of alternative research methodologies. This paper argues in favor of feminine forms of communication as valuable tools for data collection especially in research where women’s experiences are being centered and studied. The methodological value of girl talk is situated within the context of research into the effects of “wokefishing,” a phenomenon in which people present themselves as more socially and politically progressive than they are in order to obtain a sexual or romantic relationship. Through interviews with three women undergraduate students at the University of Georgia, the author was able to reflect on the role of communication styles in creating a safe and comfortable interview environment. By employing a more feminine communication style rather than the objective approach that is typically associated with masculinity, women are able to share their experiences without the fear of being judged or silenced. Fostering these kinds of interview environments can lead to the collection of more detailed and accurate accounts of women’s experiences, strengthening feminist research.

women, wokefishing, feminism, communication styles, research

Citation Style: MLA 9th Edition