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Feminist Examination of Science Essay

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Updated: Jun 15th, 2021


Feminism has evolved from being a popular movement into a field of academic studies. Major feminist theorists examine the questions of epistemology, cognition, inequality, and other prominent questions of science. In light of the paramount nature of reassessment of academic doctrine conducted in feminist research, this paper undertakes the examination of core notions and concepts in this field, such as situated knowledge, truth, objectivity, bias, and self.

Situated Knowledge

Situated knowledge is perceived as data processed through the realm of imagination and projection influenced heavily by social standing. Such knowledge is connected to forming the reality that is beyond subjectivity and which reflects the views of privileged groups (Haraway 575, 576). It is also an ideology of sharing individual knowledge regardless of social positioning based on common values and relief of barriers. Thus, feminist research argues for the “communitization” of knowledge while being personally accountable for the learning outcomes and aware of negative factors.


Stoetzler and Yuval-Davis (315, 316) argue that the concept of truth has strong underpinnings in the realm of social science. In particular, the scholars note that the social experience and perception greatly influence the content and context of truth, which forms sufficient bias depending on the social agent’s gender, class, ethnicity, and culture. The context created through dominance in the political sphere creates the expectations, projections, or “imaginings” of truth.

Imagination is claimed to be socially positioned, which is the source of bias in perceiving and utilizing this concept. Stoetzler and Yuval-Davis (325) suggest that in any research, there is a necessity to acknowledge the mechanisms by which “sensual data are transformed into conscious knowledge” and factors that influence the creation of truth. Therefore, feminist researchers understand Truth as unbiased knowledge free of social positioning and subjectivity.

Self, Objectivity, and Bias

In her work, Haraway (575) provides an outlook on the contemporary scientific debate concerning objectivity that has been increasingly polarized and set in the dichotomy of two sexes. Feminists, as she argues, have encircled themselves in defense against masculine science, trying to create their own body of knowledge and juxtapose female objectivity to male objectivity. The mission of feminist research, as she claims, is to establish collaboration free of either extreme with a healthy recognition of differences and similarities but without constructing new doctrines. Each feminist, in her view, needs to pursue the creation of a “better account of the world” (Haraway 579).

Using science to establish unbiased knowledge of all within the realms of human cognition is that towards which feminists, as a community, need to strive. Otherwise, the movement will reside in a biased environment full of hatred in which ongoing hostilities will revolve over the meaning of concepts. Thus, there is a need to change the direction in scientific research and popular debate from competition to cooperation, which might be structured unequally because true equilibrium is too difficult to establish.


All in all, feminist science appears to work towards a redefinition of approaches and concepts established against male domination in order to instill healthy collaborationism and an unbiased worldview. To that speak, the feminist concept of situated knowledge is the notion of unobstructed knowledge sharing and creation. The truth, as opposed to Truth, appears to be the biased chauvinistic reality created from imagination. In science, such a concept should be substituted with a realistic worldview unchained from social positioning. The mission of feminist science is to create a bias-free research environment based on collaborative practice and universal knowledge sharing with retaining, recognizing, and respecting each person’s differences.

Works Cited

Haraway, Donna. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies, vol. 14, no. 3, 1988, pp. 575-599.

Stoetzler, Marcel, and Nira Yuval-Davis. “Standpoint Theory, Situated Knowledge and the Situated Imagination.” Feminist Theory, vol. 3, no. 3, 2002, pp. 315-333.

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