Harraway and knowledge power

In her essay Haraway challenges the liberal human subject and its lack of concern for collective desires which leaves the possibility for wide corruption and inequality in the world.

donna haraway ucsc

In Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Scienceshe focused on the metaphors and narratives that direct the science of primatology. Another review of the same book, appearing in a issue of the American Journal of Primatologyoffers a similar criticism of Haraway's literary style and scholarly methods: [33] There are many places where an editorial hand appears absent altogether.

This demonstrates the way in which feminist standpoint theories are grounded in feminist political practice. This book infuriated me; but that is not a defect in it, because it is supposed to infuriate people like me, and the author would have been happier still if I had blown out an artery.

She asserted that there is a tendency to masculinize the stories about "reproductive competition and sex between aggressive males and receptive females [that] facilitate some and preclude other types of conclusions".

Situated knowledge haraway summary

Feminist standpoint theories seek, moreover, to go beyond analysis and description of the role played by social location in structuring and shaping knowledge. Biography, history, propaganda, science, science fiction, and cinema are intertwined in the most confusing way. Whereas the experience of person X is of a barrier to entrance and at best an inconvenience. Historians of science have begun to write more externalist histories, acknowledging the possibilities of a science profoundly integrated with ongoing social agenda. Rather, thinking from within a standpoint enables the emergence of conceptual frameworks which resolve the contradictions that arise, and fill the gaps and silences that are left empty when using a conceptual framework that is not entirely fit for purpose. Situated knowledge-power has a knower who is visible and contextual. Haraway posits that by acknowledging and understanding the contingency of their own position in the world, and hence the contestable nature of their claims to knowledge, subjects can produce knowledge with greater objectivity than if they claimed to be neutral observers. Aspects of those theories that attract controversy both within and outside of the intellectual conversations in which feminist standpoint theories have been developed and employed are also briefly discussed. Potter, eds. In her essay Haraway challenges the liberal human subject and its lack of concern for collective desires which leaves the possibility for wide corruption and inequality in the world. The ultimate epistemic goal of enquiry based on this model would be the inclusion of all standpoints, enabling the revelation of different aspects of truth. In so doing, they have widened understanding of, and enquiry into, family violence more generally to encompass violence perpetrated on children, on male partners, and on elders.

This is a book full of vaporous, French-intellectual prose that makes Teilhard de Chardin sound like Ernest Hemingway by comparison; but that is not a criticism, because the author likes that sort of prose and has taken lessons in how to write it, and she thinks that plain, homely speech is part of a conspiracy to oppress the poor.

The traditional starting point for knowledge is the position of the dominant and, despite assumptions to the contrary, that position is ideologically permeated. These feminist epistemologies extend the traditional empiricist commitment to experience and observation as the starting points for knowledge.

Situated knowledge feminism

For Haraway, situated knowledge produces absolute truth because it acknowledges the partiality and bias of the producer. Both draw upon the resources of contextual approaches to epistemic justification to show how taking account of the social location of epistemic agents can strengthen knowledge claims. Controversies More than three decades have passed since the publication of the first work that developed and advocated feminist standpoint theories. In turn, this stronger understanding has flowed into social and political discourses to the extent that, at least in some parts of the world, violence is no longer considered acceptable or part of the normal dynamics of a marriage or partnership. In response to this charge, Sandra Harding reconceptualizes objectivity, arguing for the pursuit of strong objectivity [ passim]. The social situation of an epistemic agent—her gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality and physical capacities—plays a role in forming what we know and limiting what we are able to know. And that is why women were saner than men, did not come up with the made, absurd schemes men developed; they were in touch with necessity, they had to wash the toilet bowl and the floor. Those women also have to negotiate the contradictory demands of private and professional spheres. Historians of science have begun to write more externalist histories, acknowledging the possibilities of a science profoundly integrated with ongoing social agenda. This is, potentially, the most epistemically powerful response, but it is also the most challenging given the risk of alienation from oneself and from those with whom one may have the most in common.

Episteme 3 1 : It is in this way, feminist standpoint theorists propose, that we achieve less partial and distorted understandings of all of our lives than we do if we allow questions about those lives to originate only from the experiences of dominant groups.

Donna Haraway, like Foucault, thinks about power in a post-structuralist way, believing that it exist everywhere and shapes our reality.

Harraway and knowledge power

Cyborgs can see "from both perspectives at once. Very practical and utilitarian in nature, Bacon argued for a total separation of reason from personal interest, social conventions, human passions, etc.

Patricia Hill Collins and Bell Hooks, for example, have developed black feminist standpoint theories that take into account the role of women of color in slavery and in devalued menial and caring labor, and the way in which this oppression is experienced at the hands of other, mostly white, women.

Situated knowledge theory

Thirdly, some feminist standpoint theorists respond head-on to the charge that by focusing on the experiences that are common to most women, standpoint theories fail to take account of significant differences between women. Harding argues that standpoint theory imposes a rigorous logic of discovery involving a strong demand for ongoing reflection and self-critique from within a standpoint, enabling the justification of socially-situated knowledge claims. It is against a background of a standard such as this that it would be possible to claim, without retreat to relativism, that marginalized standpoints can offer epistemic advantage. Another review of the same book, appearing in a issue of the American Journal of Primatology , offers a similar criticism of Haraway's literary style and scholarly methods: [33] There are many places where an editorial hand appears absent altogether. 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. Following Quine and his successors, they recognize and acknowledge that observation is theory-laden and that those theories themselves are artifacts of our making. Oxford: Oxford University Press, b.
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Knowledge is Power