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What is Dorothy Smith's standpoint theory?

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Dorothy Smith’s standpoint theory states that a person sees the world from a particular point of view based on that person’s place in society. Therefore, a white, middle-class male will see the world differently than a female, Native American living below the poverty line. For example, some people who tend to do well economically often frown upon having to pay for programs, through their taxes, to help those who are less fortunate. A person’s gender, race, and socioeconomic status are factors that impact a person’s perspective of events in the world.

Dorothy Smith focused on the marginalization of women in society. Through marginalization, women are put in a position to challenge existing beliefs better than a man could or would want to do. She believed that knowledge in society generally comes from the viewpoint of a male, and therefore, contains the bias of a male.

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Dorothy Smith and other theorists argued that what one knows, and the way one understands the world, is specific...

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