Ann Oakley

Ann Oakley is a leading British feminist sociologist who has done much to develop and refine prevailing understandings of gender. Her early writings examined women’s attitudes to housework and its socio-economic significance, correcting previous academic neglect of the subject. In 1985 she moved to the Institute of Education in London, where she became founder and director of the Social Science Research Unit. As well as finding fame as a novelist, since then she has focused on research methods in the social sciences, the subject of her Polity book Experiments in Knowing, which argued that debates surrounding the divide between ‘quantitative’ and ‘qualitative’ methods reflected a gendered and unhelpful distinction between the natural and social sciences. Latterly, she has also examined the impact of traditional gender values on the environment, the theme of her book Gender on Planet Earth, also published by Polity.