2014-02-21

Situated Knowledge

Situated knowledge criticizes the idea that researchers are the neutral observers of reality. The expression was coined in an analysis of how the establishment of modern science since 1500s contributed to creation of a new form of hierarchy: the scientist. A scientist was assumed to be free from any sort of biases, created by social and biological ties. There is a relationship between knowledge production and power structures such as gender, class, ethnicity, functionality and sexuality. The knowledge of one’s social position, formed by the prevailing power structures, is a prerequisite for knowledge about society and human beings. Situated knowledge draws attention to the fact that our possibility to gain knowledge about reality is limited due the power structures. Researchers can never be completely neutral. However, their objectivity can be strengthened by acknowledging their limitations in the research process.

 

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