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Abstract

This essay begins from the position that a speaking subject in feminism occupies a place of power and authority which requires a commitment to an ethical involvement in the representation of ‘others.’ Specifically, this essay will address feminist concerns of speaking for others and the concerns raised by the dangers of representing across differences of race, sexuality, gender and cultures. First, it will critique feminist claims to political effectivity as a solution to ethical representation. Second, it will look at how hierarchies of oppression and privileged ontological positions are inconsistently represented in feminist discussions. Lastly, it will briefly examine how differences between ‘others’ are increasingly being represented as cultural in potentially problematic ways. The essay will argue that feminist discussions of representation must be self-critical, but at the same time not abandon the task of working towards an ethical involvement with ‘others.’

Note on the Author

This paper was originally written for a course on gender, epistemology and research methodology in 2004/05 during Amy Hinterberger’s MSc in Gender at the London School of Economics (LSE), Gender Institute. Since 2006, she has begun a PhD in the Department of Sociology at the LSE.

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