Harraway and Knowledge Power

Topics: Epistemology, Truth, Knowledge Pages: 2 (388 words) Published: September 28, 2013
Situated Knowledge and Power
Essay #3
Michele Foucault said “modern forms of power are discursive and discreet.” He believed that power is crafted through language and the practices in which language is entrenched. Donna Haraway, like Foucault, thinks about power in a post-structuralist way, believing that it exist everywhere and shapes our reality. Both Foucault and Haraway see knowledge as a form of power, through knowledge institutions are able to control and define what truth is. Haraway uses the discourse of science as a way to examine the relationship between power and knowledge.

Haraway sees science as a major form of knowledge power. She believes that scientific institutions are able to control what people perceive about our world. In modern societies these intuitions are believed to produce “truth”. However, Haraway says that this “truth” is only partial because knowledge is constructed by people in particular places and time. She says that there are two forms of knowledge-power: objectivist and situated. In objectivist knowledge-power the knower is never seen and is never wrong, such as the scientist. Situated knowledge-power has a knower who is visible and contextual. For Haraway, situated knowledge produces absolute truth because it acknowledges the partiality and bias of the producer.

The more situated a truth is the more objective it is, objective meaning not influenced by opinions or feelings. Haraway says “self-identity does not produce science; critical positioning does, that is, objectivity.” Because science is a form of power it is important to remember that it is not always objective. Institutions within certain cultures use science as a mode to control and define the population. If science knowledge is used in this way and is also subjective then it is impossible to know truth, according to Haraway.

Foucault believes that these forms of power are inescapable, he believes that power is neither gained nor lost; it is just...
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