Archive | February 19, 2013

If knowledge is power, not knowing is privilege.

It has long since been understood that knowledge is power. Women and other subjugated voices have recognized that those who control the world are those who define the world— and define not simply what counts as knowledge—that is the content of knowledge, but they also define the production of knowledge—that is what sources and means are considered resources for knowing. Just as Michael Foucault has made this clear in his deconstruction of discursive power, so have womanists and black feminists like Patricia Hill Collins who have called for an “epistemology of knowledge, where the meaning of knowledge itself, in terms of content and production, is re-examined and re-defined. For it is undeniable that the what and ways of knowing peculiar to marginalized groups and classes of people are rarely considered knowledge—perhaps “wisdom,” “folkways,” “customs,” “superstitions,” or “women’s intuition,” but not knowledge, not something worth knowing and…

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