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Book: Gender

Chapter: Authority/Experience

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.31086


Appeals to experience as a primary site of authority and legitimacy still dominate within gender studies and religious studies. This chapter will introduce standpoint theory—its appearance on the stage of identity studies, its possibilities, and its pitfalls. We will discuss the heuristic and political utility of stable identity monikers (like “women” and “Christians,” just to name a couple of examples) for activist groups hoping to implement social and political change. We will also discuss the limits of appeals to political pragmatism as ends in themselves.

Chapter Contributors

  • K. Merinda Simmons ( - merinda) 'University of Alabama'
  • Craig Martin ( - cmartin) 'St. Thomas Aquinas College'