What You Need to Know About : Feminist standpoint Theory

Feminist standpoint theory is a specific formulation of the broader standpoint theory. All formulations of standpoint theory contend that a stand point arises when an individual recognizes and challenges cultural values and power relations that contribute to subordination or oppression of particular groups. For instance, a person could understand and reject racist values and power discrepancies between races, knowing that those undergird the subordination of minorities. The specific foci of feminist standpoint theory are  (a) identi  fying cultural values and power dynamics that account for the subordination of girls and women and (b) highlighting the distinct knowledge cultivated by activities that are typically assigned to females.

Feminist standpoint theory calls attention to the knowledge that arises from conditions and experiences that are common to girls and women. This focus on experiences draws on Marxist theory’s claim that the work we do—the concrete activity in which we engage—shapes what we know and how we behave. Thus, feminist standpoint theory is interested in skills and knowledge that are cultivated by typically female activities such as domestic work and caregiving. For example, feminist standpoint theorists claim that caring for others allows girls and women to develop knowledge of what others need and how to meet those needs.

Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.654

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Edwina Ayu Kustiawan