Feminist Participatory Action Research With Breast Cancer Survivors in China

Yuk Yee Lee, Hok Bun Ku

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Breast cancer is a major women’s health concern globally. Women with breast cancer suffer not only from the gender blindness in the medical system and the side effects of treatment but also from gender stigmatization and discrimination. This chapter demonstrates feminism-informed social work practice with breast cancer survivors in a breast cancer hospital through transdisciplinary action research. In this feminist participatory action research project, social workers, health professionals, and breast cancer survivors from a breast cancer hospital in Guangdong Province of Mainland China worked hand in hand in a multi-disciplinary team to explore a workable model of medical social work responding to the needs of the women in the Chinese context. The research team adopted a feminist approach to the design and implementation of the project to understand the women’s experiences, uncover their hidden voices, and respond to breast cancer survivors’ needs. Anti-oppression and meaning making are the major emphases in the feminist research process. Therefore, in this chapter, we discuss how the multi-disciplinary research team, working together with the women, adopted multiple research strategies to facilitate anti-oppressive practice and the women’s transformation from passive service recipients to peer counselors, and finally to establish a self-help organization. The research team concludes that the feminist participatory action research approach is an effective way to co-create gender-sensitive social work practice knowledge for and with women.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Feminisms in Social Work
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781040030004
ISBN (Print)9781032327600
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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