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Chapter readings 19 p.2

Sociology 2240E Chapter Notes - Chapter readings 19 p.2 : Patricia Hill Collins, Ethnography, Essentialism

Course Code
SOC 2240E
Robert Nonomura
readings 19 p.2

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Institutional ethnography
Friday, April 27, 2018
9:26 PM
Women's standpoint: embodied knowing vs. the ruling relations
Its hard to recall just how radical the experience of the women's movement was at its inception
for those of us who had lived and thought within the masculinist regime against which the
movement struggled
We learned in talking with other women about experiences that we had and about others we had
not had
It is this active and shared process of speaking from our experience, as well as acting and
organizing to change how those experiences had been created, that has been translated in
feminist thinking into the concept of a feminist standpoint
Claiming a subject position within the public sphere in the name of women was a central
enterprise of the women's movement in its early days in the 1970s/80s
o A powerful dynamic was created
o While those making the claim first were white middle-class women, the new subject
position in public discourse opened the way for others who had found themselves excluded
by those who'd gone before
Women's standpoint and the ruling relations
Harding identifies standpoint in terms of the social positioning of the subject of knowledge, the
knower, and creator of knowledge
Rather, my notion of women's (rather than feminist) standpoint is integral to the decision of what
I originally called a 'sociology for women' which has necessarily transformed into a 'sociology for
o Establish as a subject position for institutional ethnography as a method of inquiry, a site for
the knower that is open to anyone
Patricia hill collins
Friday, April 27, 2018
9:45 PM
Collin's intellectual influences and core ideas
Influenced by Smith's concept of standpoint epistemology, which she defined as the philosophic
viewpoint that what one knows is affected by the standpoint (or position) one has in society
o Collins extends this by illuminating the particular epistemological standpoint of black
Collins emphasizes the interlocking nature of the wide variety of statuses -for example, race,
class, gender, nationality, sexual orientation -that makes up our standpoint
o And in the spirit of Foucault, she stresses that where there are sites of domination, there are
also possible sites of resistance
Collins uses the term matrix of domination to underscore that one's position in society is made up
of multiple contiguous standpoints rather than just one essentialist standpoint
People simultaneously experience and resist oppression on three levels:
o Level of personal biography
o The group/community level of the cultural context created by race, class, and gender
o Systemic level of social institutions
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