Wrestling with standpoint theory… some thoughts on standpoint and African feminism.
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This essay attempts to probe the theory of standpoint feminism, and the charge of epistemic privilege associated with the theory. Standpoint theory itself can be seen to have emerged in the context of feminist critical theory attempting to explain the relationship between the production of knowledge and practices of power (Harding, 2004: 1). The essay attempts to probe the efficacy of a standpoint epistemic within the framework of the various asymmetries embedded in the lived experiences of women in African contexts. The essay works through the notion of ‘entanglement’ (Nuttall, 2009) which refers to the meshed and particular historical connections of an individual or group. It explores, through ethnographic insights, whether standpoint epistemology is able to offer a theoretical understanding of Black African women who are likewise ‘entangled’ within a particular archive of local socio-cultural and economic specificities.