Standpoint Theory: The Definition Of Power Relations

996 Words 4 Pages
Power Relations
Standpoint theorist understand how power relations shape the world and affects how we understand it (Rouse, 2009). Power is usually associated with a person’s dominance or physical strength. However, the definition of power in the context of standpoint theory is the power of institutions or groups. All major institutions have control over the world and how we experience it. Those within these institutions/groups have more influence and power over society and their views become dominant. When your experiences, opinions, and or beliefs become dominant you are supported by the majority therefore they are considered more valid, but are not objective or necessarily true. In fact, some of these opinions and or beliefs can be harmful or hurtful to a marginalized group. The institution of power would not see
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Standpoint means the collective perspective not the individual (Collins, 1997). Collecting one perspective from each group is not enough. Several perspectives are required and afterward should be examined to find if there are any common aspects. Most of the time common aspects cannot be found. So finally the researcher must understand that a collective standpoint may not ever be achieved because people and their experiences are diverse.
In conclusion, standpoint theory remains central to maintaining and changing unjust systems of power(Collin,1997). It is based on the idea that knowledge is power in those that have power can push their ideals and in turn that becomes the norm. Standpoints is not singular; it’s plural. It does not deal with the individual 's experiences; it focuses on the social conditions that elicit these experience of a group(Collins, 1997). It is also based in the idea that different perspectives can bring change to the way we see the world and challenge the status

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