Feminist Standpoint Theory Revisited. Susan Hekman. I N , THE PUBLICATION of Nancy Hartsock. Sex, and Power changed the landscape of feminist theo. Feminist standpoint theory, then, makes a contribution to epistemology, within a number of disciplines—such as Dorothy Smith, Nancy Hartsock, Hilary Rose. Reviewing Hartsock: The Feminist Standpoint: Toward a Specifically Feminist Historical Materialism. Hartsock looks to answer the general.

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Standpoint feminism

Some, such as Helen Longino [] and Susan Hekman [] have argued that two of the central tenets of feminist standpoint theories—the claim that knowledge is socially situated and the claim that marginalized standpoints but not perspectives offer epistemic advantage—are in deep tension with each other.

Kenney and Helen Kinsella, eds. Chodorow suggests that the result is that women see femnist and experience things relationally, whereas men do not. A number of both films and published works by and about black women began to emerge.

The works of Mary Prince and Mary Seacole are the more commonly known writings today. At first blush there appears a tension between the traditional epistemological assumption that a general, universal and abstract account of knowledge and scientific enquiry is possible, and the politically inflected feminist claim that such analyses are only properly understood in the social contexts in which they arise, and in terms of the biases and prejudices those contexts generate.

Magnus and Jacob Busch. Feminist standpoint theorists such as sociologists Dorothy Smith and Patricia Hill Collins, political philosophers Nancy Hartsock and Alison Jaggar, sociologist of science Hilary Rose, and philosopher of science Sandra Harding extended and reframed the idea of the standpoint of the proletariat to mark out the logical space for a feminist standpoint.

The emergence of appropriate conceptual frameworks furnishes the marginalized with the cognitive tools to become epistemic subjects, whereas previously they are merely known by others. Strong objectivity builds on the insights of feminist standpoint theory, which argues for the importance of starting from the experiences of those who have been traditionally left out of the production of knowledge.

Standpoint and postmodernist feminism remain opposed in this respect: There has been agreement between feminist standpoint theorists that a standpoint is not just a perspective that is occupied simply by the fact of being a woman. A scholar who approaches the research process from the point of view of strong objectivity is interested in producing knowledge for use as well as for revealing the relations of power that are hidden in traditional knowledge production processes.


Objective enquiry modelled thus requires trust—we need to trust others truthfully to reveal aspects of reality. These dualisms are overlaid by gender: Initially, feminist standpoint theories addressed women’s standing in the sexual division of labor. Moreover, as Alison Wylie argues [ Black feminist thought is a collection of ideas, writings, and art that articulates a standpoint of and for black women of the African Diaspora.

This critical approach, Harding asserts, results in a stronger notion of objectivity than that achieved by traditional approaches to enquiry. A good proportion of the work that has since built on early moments in feminist standpoint theory has focused on incorporating considerations of difference within feminist standpoint theories.

Feminist Standpoint Theory Revisited”: Abstract Masculinity and the Feminist Standpoint. Distinctive tenets of contemporary black feminist thought include: Feminist standpoint theorists point out that, in order to survive within social structures in which one is oppressed, one is required to understand practices of oppression, to understand both oppressed and oppressor; but, this epistemic bi-polarity is neither required of, nor available to, the dominant.

Not all women, however, have exactly the same experiences. Heyes – – Hypatia 17 2: Black feminist thought demonstrates Black women’s emerging power as agents of knowledge.

Standpoint feminism – Wikipedia

Black women offer an alternative position that reveals a representation of others from a different perspective. Standpoint feminism unites several feminist epistemologies. Palgrave MacMillan, ; According to feminist standpoint theories, the process of achieving knowledge begins when standpoints begin to emerge.

Thus the epistemic process whereby a standpoint emerges enables the occupants of that standpoint to gain an element of power and control over knowledge about their lives. Standpoint theories remind us why a naturalistic conception of knowing is so important. African American women, rather than racist and sexist social structures, are blamed for that oppression. A feminist or women’s standpoint epistemology proposes to make women’s experiences the point of departure, in addition to, and sometimes instead of men’s.

Central Themes in Feminist Standpoint Theory Feminist standpoint theorists such as sociologists Dorothy Smith and Patricia Hill Collins, political philosophers Nancy Hartsock and Alison Jaggar, sociologist of science Hilary Rose, and philosopher of science Sandra Harding extended and reframed the idea of the standpoint of the proletariat to mark out the logical space for a feminist standpoint.

Feminists have just begin to unravel the female experience, searching for commonalities across diverse experiences of women, and are struggling to identify the structural determinants of these experiences. In other words, how the social structures hartsocm place originate in psychological understandings of the self and the differentiation of the self from others in this case. Women and workers are similar standponit many ways emphasis on change — not statis; characterized by interaction with natural substances — not separation from nature; emphasis on quality, unification of the and body in performed activities, etc.


What is Strong Objectivity? Thus, as Sandra Harding puts it, “Standpoint theories map how a social and political disadvantage can be turned into an epistemic, scientific and political advantage.

Feminist Standpoint Theory | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Their location as a subordinated group allows women to see and understand the world in ways that are different and challenging to the existing male-biased conventional wisdom. On thee side of that divide is the conceptual practice of academic work conducted within the conceptual structures of the discipline of sociology; and on the other, the concrete of the domestic sphere. Mirza recognizes that black women are sometimes known as the “other” and offers her term saying they have a status as a ‘third space’ between the margins of race, gender, and class.

Oxford University Press, b. Conceptual frameworks emanating from patriarchal systems fail to provide cognitive tools that enable women and others who are marginalized to make sense of their experiences in and of the world.

Feminist Standpoint Theory

Because of this, there is no singular standpoint of all women. If this is stand;oint case, trying to create a broad-based feminist community or building consensus on specific policy becomes difficult.

Such questions force us to examine the beliefs, prejudices and biases of the dominant groups in society, the propositions that have previously counted as knowledge.

The colonized, then, have some means of entry into the world of the colonizer, and the potential for gaining some understanding of how the world works from that perspective, but the colonizer is generally shut out of the world of the colonized and restricted to a mono-visual view of how the world is.