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University of Toronto Scarborough
Women's and Gender Studies
Jin Park

2012-09-19 IEEC31H3/WSTC21H3 F Lecture 2 Video: Forgiving Doctor Mengele • Eva and Mariam Kor= twins that underwent experiments at the hand of Dr. Mengele in Auschwitz during the second world war • Dr. Mengele= Nazi scientist interested in genetics and conducted research studies on twins that were deemed “racially inferior” by him and Nazis alike • How science became a contested field in feminism Lecture: • Post-WWII: scholars interested in social implications of science and technological studies • Feminist scholars began to place gender in science and technology and understanding of gender in these fields o How these thinkers reconceptualize science and reconstruct notion of “objectivity” and reclaim it o Notions of female sexuality or homosexuality were perceived, thought and treated by early psychologists and gynecologists • Sandra Harding o Philosophically questioned women’s place in science through a feminist perspective o Book: the science question in feminism (1986)  Argued that scientific rationality and truths were held in high regard; depicted the forcefulness of this belief • Particularly from natural sciences • Aspects also taken from humanistic sciences such as social sciences and apply quantitative study into the social sciences in the 1980s • Questioned our investment in scientific rationality  Man’s participation was greater than woman’s participation in science and women were designated to minimal roles in many sciences particularly in physics • The demand that women be allowed to participate more in science specifically laboratory to increase women’s participation in science and reduce invisibility of feminist scientists in western science  Feminist standpoint epistemology • Feminist perception in the study of knowledge o Bringing in women’s perspective [standpoint] a morally and scientifically preferable ground  Groups (women) who have experienced discrimination and subjugation into the research methods to seem more subjective o Feminist standpoint?= understanding science through a coloured women’s perspective even though researching as a white feminist scientist • Critiquing positivist/methodological approach which were dominant forces in understanding and conducting science o Assumes that the researcher can distance her/himself from research; assumed neutrality of knowledge and remain objective  Perfect rationality for scientific inquiry • Attacked by post-modernists of the 70s and 80s o Feminist postmodern movements that valued the multiplicities of women’s voices o Question= whether there is one true question of feminist theory for women’s voices; Sandra Harding
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