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Understanding Your Positionality

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Jessica Frank

on 5 September 2017

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Transcript of Understanding Your Positionality

Honoring Experience
"Rather than trying to convince a fellow student of the correctness of his own position, a student must listen to how others’ life experiences lead them in different directions in the world" (Takas, 32).
Understanding Your Position
Honoring Space
Multiple narratives & realities

Don't become a source of authority when discussing a culture or an experience that is not your own

Create a safe space and encourage expression of those in the community
Recognizing Privilege
Any unearned benefit or advantage one receives in society by nature of their identity:

Gender Identity
Sexual Orientation
Citizenship Status
Privilege (Cont'd)
Privilege is relative

Having/recognizing privilege does not signify guilt

Systems of privilege hurt not only the 'underprivileged,' but us all

Recognizing privilege creates the opportunity to think beyond our own lived experiences, and to take into consideration the lived realities of others
Class Activity
Take approximately 10 minutes to list the things that may affect your positionality (such as identity, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and upbringing).

Make two separate lists - the ways you may have privilege and the ways you may not.
Understanding your Position
How does who you are shape your understanding of the world?

"Knowledge does not arrive unmediated from the world; rather, knowledge gets constructed by interaction between the questioner and the world" (31).

"Through recognizing and analyzing the cultures in which we are positioned, and that therefore cannot help but mold our worldviews, we take steps to become more aware and even more objective" (29).
Introduction to DEAF 200
"How does your positionality bias your epistemology?" by David Takas (2003)
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