Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates For the latest information and advice see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) frequently asked questions
Sgoil Cheumnaichean Saidheans Sòisealta na h-Alba

When Methods Meet

Gender sensitive methods


In this seventeen-minute video Katarzyna Kosmala and Anna Sznajder discuss different aspects of gender sensitive methods. They refer to research that they have done with professional artists, cultural producers and with rural artisans – lacemakers to make the point that researchers need to be mindful of how some aspects of people’s lives and their places are more readily spoken and written about than others (such as discrimination and exploitation). As a result, it is important that the research methods used are capable of capturing phenomena that are missed by more conventional approaches, including silences and elements that are left invisible, made opaque or even erased using ordinary observation or that are difficult to access, such as bodily experiences and power dynamics within the field. These challenges can be met through researchers working in partnership with research participants to get a fuller sense of the latter’s perspective and engage through the stories ‘behind’ their situations. Sensitivity to things that are unspoken or left invisible reveal phenomena such as the gendered nature of space, and this highlights the importance of considering the researcher’s positionality and power of discourse in the research process and the academic fields from the outset.

Academics in conversation: Katarzyna Kosmala and Anna Sznajder, both University of the West of Scotland.


  • J. Collier, ‘Photography and Visual Anthropology’ in P. Hockings (ed.) Principles of Visual Anthropology. (2003) Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 217-253
  • K. Kosmala, (ed.) Sexing the Border. Gender, Art and New Media in Central and Eastern Europe, (2014) Cambridge Scholar Publishing
  • K. Kosmala, Imagining Masculinities: Spatial and Temporal Representation and Visual Culture, (2013) Routledge
  • K. O’Reilly, Key Concepts in Ethnography, (2009) Los Angeles: Sage
  • B. Pini, ‘The Third Sex: Women Leaders in Australian Agriculture’ in Gender, Work and Organization, (2005) 12 (1), pp. 73-88., accessed 15 January 2012
  • S. Pink, Doing Visual Ethnography. Images, Media and Representation in Research. (2007) Los Angeles: Sage Publications
  • S. Pink, Doing Sensory Ethnography, (2009) London: Sage
  • J. Ruby, (Picturing Culture. Explorations of Film and Anthropology (2000) Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press
  • M. Stockett and P. Geller, ‘Introduction: Feminist Anthropology: Perspectives on Our Past, Present, and Future’ in P. Geller and M. Stockett, (eds.) Feminist Anthropology. Past, present, future. (2006) Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 1-20
  • A. Sznajder, Women, bobbin lace histories and the formation of lacemaking heritage in Bobowa, Southern Poland. An ethnographic case study, (2014) unpublished PhD dissertation, The University of the West of Scotland
  • T. Wright, Visual Impact. Culture and the Meaning of Images. (2008) Oxford-New York: Berg


We have created a downloadble resource sheet for this video. It has a transcript of the conversation, the list of references, and suggested seminar questions.