Standpoint epistemology and the uses of self-reflection in feminist ethnography: Lessons for Rural Sociology

Nancy A. Naples, Carolyn Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

We explore how feminist researchers informed by standpoint theoretical frameworks employ the process of self-reflection to counter the reproduction of inequalities in ethnographic investigation. Although it is not a cure for this dilemma, we argue that researchers can be self-conscious about the ways in which they reproduce power in the course of their work; furthermore, sustained attention to these dynamics will enrich ethnographic accounts. We begin by outlining the diverse ways in which feminist ethnographers draw on standpoint epistemology to generate strong reflexive methodological strategies. Then we describe challenges posed by postmodern and postcolonial critics, and outline how feminists have contributed to these debates and have responded with innovative methodological strategies, especially in relation to self-reflexive techniques. In conclusion, we discuss how rural sociologists might incorporate these methodological insights into their ethnographic investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-214
Number of pages21
JournalRural Sociology
Volume65
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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