We are delighted to be presenting this special issue on the topic of feminism and quantitative methods. We believe that such an issue is exceptionally timely. This is not simply because of ongoing debates around quantification within the field of feminism and women‟s studies. It is also because of debates within the wider research community about the development of appropriate methodologies that take account of new technological and philosophical concerns and are fit-for-purpose for researching contemporary social, philosophical, cultural and global issues. Two areas serve as exemplars in this respect and both speak to these combined wider social science and specifically feminist methodological concerns. The first is the increasing concern amongst social scientists with how the complexity of social life can be captured and analysed. Within feminism, this can be seen in debates about intersectionality that recognise the concerns arising from multiple social positions/divisions and associated power issues. As Denis (2008: 688) comments in respect of intersectional analysis „The challenge of integrating multiple, concurrent, yet often contradictory social locations into analyses of power relations has been issued. Theorising to accomplish this end is evolving, and we are struggling to develop effective methodological tools in order to marry theorising with necessary complex analyses of empirical data.‟ Secondly, new techniques and new data sources are now coming on line. This includes work in the UK of the ESRC National Data Strategy which has been setting out the priorities for the development of research data resources both within and across the boundaries of the social sciences. This will facilitate historical, longitudinal, interdisciplinary and mixed methodological research. And it may be the case that these developments facilitate the achievement of a longstanding feminist aim not simply for interdisciplinarity but for transdisciplinarity in epistemological and methodological terms
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