Standpoint Epistemology, Auto-Theorization in France: A Counter Hegemonic Knowledge?

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: Booth 62
Oral Presentation
Carmen DIOP , Education, Université Paris 13 Villetaneuse, Villetaneuse, France
How does language (biographical empirical data) account for the social relations and their context? My research on untold experiences of suffering in the social space of work is the result of my own immersion in the social relations that I am studying. It is embodied in the French debates on gendered equality at work and post-coloniality. The French scientific knowledge production promotes distance vis-à -vis the object. Nevertheless, I highlight the heuristic value of the standpoint epistemology (Mathieu 1971 ; 1991; Juteau, 1981, Haraway, 1988). My  epistemic advantage (Hartsock, 1998, Harding, 1990 ; 2003) is central and my work  is likely to be returned to  journalism, fiction and socio-political subversion, and excluded from academic recognition (Bourdieu, Morrison, 2000). This epistemology denies the rift between commitment and sociological knowledge (Guillaumin, 1981 ; 1992 ; Delphy, 1998 ; 2001)  and raises the issue of race and gender diversity in academia (Essed , 1997, 1999). Considered "unscientific" by “the White North Western male bourgeois ", this approach questions both the producer of knowledge and his object. In French sociology, it  is considered harmful (Boudon, 2001) and auto-theorization remains marginal. The issue is :  How am I represented , and how do I self- represent myself outside the usual frameworks, based on a theory of personal experience (De Lauretis , 1987) ? I aim to produce an academic knowledge from practical and subjective discursive truths, in a process of translation of subjectivities. As an Afro-Caribbean  researcher in “a sexualized and racialized world" ( Morrison, Din 1994), I use my epistemic advantage, in order  to produce a counter- hegemonic knowledge of the social  relations of gender, race , etc. inside the  academy (hooks, 2000 ; Hill Collins, 1989) in France .