This paper is a provocation and reflection on some of the methodological tensions and opportunities I encountered in trying to “get at” gender in my research on the everday gendered geographies of physical activity. Situated in a feminist methodology, I designed my study on gender and gym environments to include multiple forms of data (interviews, drawings, journals) to foster a participant-centred research process by offering diverse forms of expression. Yet, there were moments where my feminist commitment to recognise participants’ agency in how they articulated their gendered experiences was stymied by seeming self-contradictions throughout their multi-modal narratives, as well as by my researcher interpretations of gender. In this post-mortem, I consider what incongruities in the ways some participants spoke about gender within and across data types tell us about gender as a concept. I illustrate how there is methodological opportunity in using multiple creative methods as a check for rigour in the form of “catalytic validity,” or awareness-raising among research participants, which is consistent with socially transformative feminist geographical aims.
Coen, S. E. (2021). “Ok, gender! Where are you?!”: On the potential of catalytic validity in feminist geographies of everyday inequities. Area, 53(4), 699-707. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12744