Standpoint Theory

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  • The notion that the social group to which a person belongs will directly influence the way in which that individual perceives and interprets daily experience. The theory, introduced by Hegel (1807), also entails the idea that the widest possible variety in standpoints—those places (real, social, conceptual) from which people perceive the world—will offer, in sum, a more comprehensive objectivity. Standpoint theory is frequently associated with one or more feminist approaches to knowledge, sometimes referred to as “situated knowledge,” whereby the individual's thought processes and imagination are actually shaped by his or her social position. Put another way, the theory argues that knowledge and communication of that knowledge will reflect one's social class. Standpoints, like points of view, are never complete and are necessarily skewed; one ...

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