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Qual II 2014--Week 4

Standpoint theory

Jerry Rosiek

on 28 January 2016

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Transcript of Qual II 2014--Week 4

Syllabus Updates--No propsectus assignment
Amy Wells
Introduction to Standpoint Theory
Small Group Discussion of Readings
Large Group Discussion--student led
Review of Critical Approaches to Inquiry
Effects Wheel exercise
Next Readings--Foucault
Gots and Needs
False Consciousness
of Class
Knowledge of Reality is Distorted
Attention is Deflected
Ideological Analysis
Knowledge Shaped by Multiple Forms of Oppression
False Consciousness
False Consciousness
a Standpoint
Weak Objectivity
Attention is Limited by Positionality
Standpoint 2
Standpoint 1
Ideological Analysis
Knowledge of Reality
of Class Oppression
Strong Objectivity
Extremely Distorted Knowledge
Strong Objectivity
Strong Objectivity
Standpoint Theory
Social World
Privileged Positionality
Oppressed Positionality
Ideology can be internalized by members of oppressed classes. This serves to distract them from the institutional causes of their exploitation and suffering, . Rationalizes stratification.
Ideology is internalized as self-concept by members of privileged classes as well. This serves to naturalize the institutional causes of their privilege, often reframing it as a consequence of individual virtue or effort. Rationalizes stratification.
Persons in oppressed positionality must have a more accurate understanding of persons privileged classes, and of the operation of ideology, because predicting the behavior of the privileged is higher stakes. This is the root of standpoints and standpoint theory.
A standpoint begins to be achieved when a person in an oppressed positionality has become critically aware of the way prevailing ideologies distort their self-concept and their understanding of social arrangements.
A standpoint can be achieved when a person is in a privileged positionality? However, this knowledge would not be grounded in direct experience.
Someone with an achieved standpoint can provide a "stronger objectivity" by seeing not just what is present, but also things often obscured by ideology, as well as being aware of the ideological mediating effects structuring our vision.
Oppressed Positionality
as Researcher
Privileged Positionality
as Researcher
Without an achieved standpoint, can only achieve a "weak objectivity" by taking naturalized objects as they are given without critical interrogation. This often includes insisting that all knowledge be grounded in what can be made obvious to everyone--thus limiting knowledge to weak objectivity.
Small Group Discussion Questions
Do you have a standpoint? If so, how would you know? How would others determine that you have one that could be trusted as a source of knowledge?

How does Hill-Collins apply standpoint theory to her work as a sociologist? How/why does her standpoint as a black woman enhance her work as a sociologist?

What is Heckman's primary concern about the limitations of standpoint theory? How does she propose to resolve it?

What does Hill-Collins have to say about Heckman's analysis and proposal? What is its primary limitation?

Whose essay are you most persuaded by? Why?
Description of the Social World
Description of the Social World
NEXT WEEK's Readings
Michel Foucault:

Binary Oppositions
The Panopticon
The Gaze
Subjects and Subjection
Ideology distorts understanding of reality
Ideology obscures the humanity and reality of the experiences of the oppressed. Insulates privileged from the ethical consequences of their actions. Rationalizes stratification.
What is a Standpoint?
Qual II: Critical and Postcritical Inquiry
Critical Theory Review
Critical Approaches to Research Share some things in common:

Normative: A focus on social forms of oppression and a commitment to ameliorating them..
A focus on how ideology distorts the average person's understanding of the causes of their suffering.
A focus on how ideologies distort the way social scientists' frame questions and analyses of human experience. Accounting for this in research design is called "reflexivity."
Foundationalism: An assertion that there is a reality of oppression that needs to be documented. And good research seeks to do this.
Effects Wheel Exercise
Topic Choice
Lit Review
Data Sources and Methods of Analysis
In an effects wheel, the center circle is a prompt. In this case:

1) You are convinced ideology distorts research in your field and you intend to conduct research that avoids such distortion so as to better address issues of widespread injustice.

In the sections of the immediately adjacent circle (2-5), you write the effects or implications of premise (1) for your research design.

In the sections of the outer circle (6-13) you write the secondary effects or implications of the things you wrote in sections 2-5.

For example, #2 might be "Choose to focus on gender-based harassment in schools." Then #6 might be "Take graduate level women's studies courses." #7 might be "Ensure dissertation committee has a plurality of feminist scholars."
Prospectus Group Work
A prospectus should include five elements:
A brief description of the research topic that ends by identifying a research question.
A brief indication of the theoretical framework being used and why you chose it. (Often you indicate the literature you would review, but don't actually review it.)
An indication of the unit of analysis and data sources for the study.
An indication of the method of analysis for the study--what you would do with the data.
A brief description of the style and organization of the writing.
What you hope to achieve with the study--identify primary audience, what you hope to convince them of, and what they will do with that information/understanding.

Gots and Needs
Student Led Discussion
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