WORLD ANTHROPOLOGICAL UNION

CONGRESS 2024​

SELECTED PANEL

( pn73 )

What does feminist epistemology have to say about hegemonic forms of anthropological knowledge production?

Organizers

    Martha Patricia Castañeda Salgado

    Mexico

    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

    Online - Presence

    María Elena Acuña

    Universidad de Chile

    Online - Presence

    Natalia Escalante Conde

    Mexico

    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

    Online - Presence

IUAES Affiliation: Global Feminisms and Queer Politics

Keywords:

feminist epistemology, hegemony, anthropological knowledge, colonialism

Abstract:

For feminist epistemologies, the construction of knowledge always implies social relations and positions such as gender, ethnicity, race, and class. The critique embedded in the sixties and mid-seventies in anthropological discipline made by feminists who criticize the dominant paradigm of positivist science, put at steak the pretended objectivity in social investigation, reframing the role of the researcher and its neutrality and, of course, the role of the subject/ object of knowledge; also gender came up as an analytical category instead of a descriptive one. As a result of these criticisms, it was possible to address the misleading arguments underlying positivist science, but also to notice how certain ethnocentric and androcentric biases construct knowledge. This realization underscores the broader perspective that knowledge is not immune to the influences of colonial ideologies about scientific preeminence over other ways of knowledge, prompting a critical examination of how colonialism has shaped and continues to shape our understanding of the world. The topic for this panel is to underline the heuristic potential of the feminist epistemological approach over hegemonic trends of knowledge production in the anthropological discipline, recognizing the different perspectives involved in what is known as feminist anthropologies. One of the goals is to enrich the debate about the entangled epistemic relation between subjectivity, knowledge, and power from different standpoints, such as intersectional, materialist, or decolonial. This never-ending debate is as fundamental as the discussion about fieldwork/ethnographic authority as the core of the discipline's distinctiveness. To point out a way out of this entangled series of debates, it is primarily necessary to recognize that personal implications in feminist anthropological research allow a different approach to knowledge: a dialogical one.