Standpoint Epistemology

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  • The idea that knowledge always exists from and within a particular perspective or standpoint. Because standpoint epistemology established its roots in feminist theory, the most common standpoint for knowledge is gender. Feminist standpoint theorists devoted much of their attention to female labor and asserted that all women are exploited. However, many feminists challenged this, arguing that different women have different experiences and perspectives. Patricia Hill Collins, for example, asserted that we should not group Caucasian women's experiences together with African American women's because of their different social positions. Today, standpoint epistemology recognizes that because there are a variety of situated experiences based on individuals' historical, ethnic, and social location in society, there are a variety of ways of knowing. For more information, see Harding (1991) ...

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