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Feminist Standpoint Theory

Nancy A. Naples

Subject Sociology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Extract

Standpoint theory is a broad categorization that includes somewhat diverse theories ranging from Hartsock's (1983) feminist historical materialist perspective, Haraway's (1988) analysis of situated knowledges, Collins's (1990) black feminist thought, Sandoval's (2000) explication of third world feminists’ differential oppositional consciousness, and Smith's (1987, 1990) everyday world sociology for women. Many theorists whose work has been identified with standpoint theory contest this designation; for example, Smith (1992) has been particularly vocal about the limits of this classification. She explains that it was Harding (1986) who first named standpoint theory as a general approach within feminism to refer to the many different theorists who argued for the importance of situating knowledge in women's experiences. Standpoint theorists are found in a wide variety of disciplines and continue to raise important questions about the way power influences knowledge in a variety of fields. Harding (2003) has brought together the most influential essays on feminist standpoint theory to demonstrate the power and utility of standpoint theory for feminist praxis. Feminist standpoint theory was initially developed in response to debates surrounding Marxist feminism and socialist feminism in the 1970s and early 1980s. In reworking Marx's historical materialism from a feminist perspective, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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