Introduction to Feminist Urban Studies

10. Summary

Feminism can be understood as resistance against all forms of oppression and a sense of hope for change.

Historically, social scientific research methods have marginalised, inadequately represented, and even excluded, women’s experiences. Feminist research challenges both the knowledge which is produced and the methods of producing knowledge.

Feminist urban studies is urban research that is informed by a feminist philosopy of knowledge, comprised of feminist perspectives on ontology (theories of existence), epistemology (theories of knowledge), and methodology (principles and procedures for conducting research).

From the 1970s differences emerged in the kinds of issues that were the focus of feminist urban research in the global north and the global south.

Broadly speaking, key issues that feminist urban scholars have focused on include:

  1. Critiques of masculinist urban spatial epistemologies.
  2. Engagement with ideological constructs of urban space, notably the public / private divide.
  3. Analyses of urban form and women’s lives in cities.