Development of a scale to measure feminist perspectives.
Reddy, Vishad Purshottama.
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This study was an attempt to develop a scale that measured, and was inclusive of the different feminist perspectives in a South African context. The research process began by analysing local and internal literature on feminism, and identifying a gap in the literature: the absence of a contemporary and contextually relevant scale, as the most recent attempt to measure the different feminist perspectives was twenty years ago. An initial pool of scale items was developed from the main themes emanating from the focus group, the issues elicited from a previous study, by Patel and Reddy (2017) on definitions of feminism, and the relevant empirical and theoretical literature on the topic. A pilot study was conducted with the first draft of the scale, and the results were used to craft a second version. The second draft was administered to a sample of 300 students, based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the data was entered into the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software programme. Descriptive statistics were conducted, along with exploratory factor analysis and internal consistency measures to establish preliminary validity and reliability. The current version of the scale contains seven sections. Section A involves demographic information. Section B focuses on definitions of feminism, descriptions of feminists, feminist identification, and feminist issues in the South African context. Section C contains a list of categories that are commonly used to describe feminism. Section D is the 21-item General feminism sub-scale which contains the following five factors: Gender Equality, Negative Stereotypes, Gender-Neutral, Spectrum, and Resistance. Section E contains a list of the origins of women’s oppression. Section F is the 29-item African feminism(s) sub-scale which contains the following seven factors: Women’s Upliftment, Local Feminist issues, Overturning Patriarchal Tradition, Anti-feminism, Hostility, Sex Stereotypes, and Local Meaning. Section G is a semantic differential sub-scale which measures evaluations toward the term “a feminist” and encompasses two factors: Evaluation and Dynamism. Since this is not the final version of the scale, but merely an attempt, there is more that needs to be done in relation to its psychometric properties and content. In addition, it is anticipated that the development of this scale will act as a stimulus or starting point for further research on feminism in South Africa.