Getting Lost

Feminist Efforts toward a Double(d) Science

By Patti Lather

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, SUNY series, Second Thoughts: New Theoretical Formations
Paperback : 9780791470589, 230 pages, March 2007
Hardcover : 9780791470572, 230 pages, March 2007

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Table of contents

1. Shifting Imaginaries in the Human Sciences: A Feminist Reading
Interlude: (Excerpted) Interview with Patti Lather
2. Methodology as Subversive Repetition: Practices toward a Feminist Double(d) Science
Interlude: Naked Methodology
3. Double(d) Science, Mourning, and Hauntology: Scientism, Scientificity, and Feminist Methodology
Interlude: If We Held a Reunion, Would Anyone Come?
4. Textuality as Praxis: With Ears to Hear the Monstrous Text
Interlude: E-mail Updates (Excerpted)
5. Applied Derrida: (Mis)Reading the work of Mourning in Social Research
Interlude: Déjà Vu All Over Again: Feminism, Postmodernism, and the Educational Left
6. Fertile Obsession: Validity after Poststructuralism
Interlude: Dear Elliot, August 1996-November 1997
7. Postbook: Working the Ruins of Feminist Ethnography
Interlude: The Angel to Philosophy of Science
Afterwords: Still Lost: The Summons of the Archive as Process
Chart 1: Postpositivist New Paradigm Inquiry, 2005, Patti Lather and Elizabeth St. Pierre
Chart 2: Major Interpretive Paradigms Chart, 2006, Wanda Pillow and Annel Medina, eds.

Marks the trajectory of the author’s work as a feminist methodologist.


Winner of the 2008 Critics' Choice Award presented by the American Educational Studies Association

In this follow-up to her classic text Troubling the Angels, an experimental ethnography of women with AIDS, Patti Lather deconstructs her earlier work to articulate methodology out of practice and to answer the question: What would practices of research look like that were a response to the call of the wholly other? She addresses some of the key issues challenging social scientists today, such as power relations with subjects in the field, the crisis in representation, difference, deconstruction, praxis, ethics, responsibility, objectivity, narrative strategy, and situatedness. Including a series of essays, reflections, and interviews marking the trajectory of the author's work as a feminist methodologist, Getting Lost will be an important text for courses in sociology of science, philosophy of science, ethnography, feminist methodology, women and gender studies, and qualitative research in education and related social science fields.

Patti Lather is Professor of Cultural Foundations of Education at the Ohio State University. She is the coauthor (with Chris Smithies) of Troubling the Angels: Women Living with HIV/AIDS and Getting Smart: Feminist Research and Pedagogy With/in the Postmodern.


"The gift of this text is the seriousness with which Lather brings feminist poststructural thinking to bear on urgent issues of knowledge creation as they relate to actual lives. Who wouldn't love a book that asks for a 'less ascetic, pious science,' gets naked methodologically and otherwise, and draws on theological writings?" — Susan Talburt, author of Subject to Identity: Knowledge, Sexuality, and Academic Practices in Higher Education

"Lather opens up to full scrutiny her own work as an ethnographer, including stuck places, false starts, and dead ends. This deconstruction allows the reader to see the usefulness of working the ruins. She puts 'post' ideas to work in terms of what research means and does, and posits 'getting lost' as a way of knowing and thus enriches feminist methodology, critical ethnography, and philosophy of science. This book made me hopeful, for the first time in a long while, that social science after the critique of science is possible. " — Mary Margaret Fonow, coeditor of Beyond Methodology: Feminist Scholarship as Lived Research