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HLTC02H3 (51)
Chapter 4

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Health Studies
Joseph Bryant

HLTC02 Chapter 4: Postcolonial-Feminist Theoretical Perspectives and Women’s Health Theoretical Foundations − post-colonial theory can be defined as an interdisciplinary family of theories that share a common political and social concern about the legacy of colonialism and how this continues to shape peoples’ lives and life opportunities − these theories converge of several key points o racialized/classed/gendered inequalities o the need for critical analyses of people’s experiences of colonialism o the deliberate decentering of dominant culture so that the perspectives of those who have been marginalized become starting points for knowledge development o need to expand our understanding of how conceptualization of race/racialization/culture are constructed within particular historical/neocolonial contexts o “a place of multiple identities, interconnected histories, and shifting and diverse material conditions. It is also a place where new racisms and oppressions are being formed. o What sets this theory apart is that its focus on disrupting the enduring history of “race-thinking” and structural inequalities that have been brought about by histories of colonization and ongoing neocolonial practices − Intersectionality refers to the ability of social phenomena such as race, class, and gender to mutually construct one another, and as a consequence, women experience differing constellations of inequalities based on their social positioning within hierarchies of power relations o Women ending up at the bottom of most socioeconomic gradients Expanding the Boundaries of Feminist Theorizing − Critique of feminist theories is the tendency for analyses to privilege the gendered constraints of women’s lives over issues such as racialization or class o Ex. Liberal feminist theory has been criticized for focusing on the problems of relatively privileged (white, western, middle class, hetro women) and have contested the centrality of gender oppression, essentialist conceptions of gender, and the subordination of the experience of race and class. − Feminist representations of Third World women have sometimes been modeled on those who are most marginalized and underprivileged − It is imperative to apply postcolonial-feminist perspectives in ways that permit generalizations about shared experiences of racialization, economic marginalization, and other forms of oppression, while at the same time focusing attention on differences and particularities of context. − As globalization continues, it will be imperative to avoid essential portrayals of Western/Third World/Muslim women Examining Women’s Health from a Postcolonial-Feminist Perspective − Viewed through a political lens which recognizes that each life is shaped by history and one’s socio-historical positioning within society − Under the Indian Act, Aboriginal women continue to be assigned fewer fundamental rights than men − These socio-historical conditions are anal
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