Graduate studies at Western
Social Epistemology 24 (4):313-330 (2011)
|Abstract||A growing body of knowledge within the social sciences is produced from the perspectives of marginalised groups of people, and often, western science is criticised as an accomplice in a male?dominated and/or Eurocentric hegemony where alternative voices are excluded. This article investigates the terms of debate of this kind of knowledge in the social scientific community: who can partake in this discussion, and with which kind of commitment? The empirical material is the reviews of Linda Tuhiwai Smith?s book Decolonizing methodologies. Research and indigenous peoples (London: Zed Books, 1999). Most of the reviewers welcome Smith?s critique of western science and call for a more inclusive alternative. The question of the analysis is how this ambition is put to practice. The analysis demonstrates that even if the reviewers condone Smith?s project, many of them hesitate to fully enter the debate. Many reviews oscillate between a classical understanding of culture and a postmodernist approach. The article argues that an unaddressed tension between these patterns of thought leaves the reviewers at an impasse. A crucial point is how we conceptualise the relationship between knowledge and context, and the author suggests that Sandra Harding?s version of standpoint theory may help us to reconsider the terms of the debate|
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