The Benefits and Risks of Feminist Practice as Early Career Scholars in Social Psychology

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Feminist theory has informed how psychologists and other social scientists think about doing science, in terms of epistemology and methodology. While there are many sources for understanding how feminist theory can inform theory and methods in psychological science, there are few reflections on what it looks like “on the ground” to try to incorporate feminist approaches into one’s professional academic life. This chapter examines the real world implications of feminist practices in the context of conducting research, mentoring, and working on institutional change. Drawing on examples from our own experiences, we discuss practical decisions informed by feminist commitments as well as some of their consequences. We also argue that feminist practices are sometimes (though not always) at odds with professional norms and expectations, particularly for early career scholars, who face enormous pressures to publish quickly and prolifically. Throughout, we offer specific suggestions for individual scholars, as well as the field, in order to make our science both more rigorous and inclusive, and our careers as feminist scholars more successful.

Original Citation

Curtin, N., Ramsey, L.R., & Tran, J. (2016). The Benefits and Risks of Feminist Practice as Early Career Scholars in Social Psychology. In T-A. Roberts, N. Curtin, L.E. Duncan, & L.M. Cortina (Eds.) Feminist Perspectives on Building a Better Psychological Science of Gender(pp. 353-379). Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-32141-7_20