were not working on the inclusion of gender relations into their own work Each

Were not working on the inclusion of gender relations

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were not working on the inclusion of gender relations into their own work. Each of these groups have worked in generating knowledge and confidence in the worth of that knowledge. However I cannot, I 10
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find, say more about the details. It would be to give too much away about how to bend the rules and present impressions which lead a group to prosper and grow strong. It would also implicate people still embroiled in struggles with their institutions. Unlike Bowbrick’s story, it is all too recent. ...Mutual support and knowledge I have argued often enough that politics inform knowledge; that knowledge cannot be understood outside the political context in which it arose. This is a view that underpins my arguments for collaboration. It is another way of expressing the conclusions of the epistemology of perspective (the politics of knowing) I was alluding to earlier. All this is, I realise, quite the reverse of the usual Western epistemologies, which are empiricist in origin, sharply distinguish fact and value, and, in the famous phrase, are inclined to ‘just stick to the facts’. As if facts could be got outside a political context! For those who are of such an empiricist persuasion, the two examples of collaboration I used there in the right hand column have no particular epistemological import. One is a story of a failed piece of knowledge through the usual methods of criticism and argument. The other is a story of political resistance. In a way this does not matter. They are both stories of collaboration, and as such, evidence for the processes of collaboration. In a way it matters very much. They are a demonstration of the significance of the politics of knowing for the generation and circulation of knowledge (i.e. public in some space or other). Only when the women came together and provided a space for mutual respect and support could their perspectives be developed. Similarly for work produced by lower status (more likely to be female, black, young, temporarily employed) research assistants and used by their higher status employers or supervisors. Usually the perspectives of assistants and directors do not carry anything approaching equal weight. Collaboration would imply that respect was due to each one, though I am not suggesting that power and authority are wished away, or could be. However new models of mutual respect and support could result in knowledge being developed from more than one perspective. There is oddity about talking of ‘mutual support and knowledge’. It sounds altogether too soft and cosy. The generation of knowledge is supposed, in the Western tradition, to flourish in a culture of competitive individualism. It proceeds through adversarial criticism. Or so the story goes. The process seems to be something altogether more complicated. Nobody who has tried to collaborate would think it to be cosy and comfortable. Nor is it, I am arguing a matter of rational debate. However there can be no doubt that the human interactions that characterise collaboration can provide mutual support, even if it is not always comfortable. I
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