A view point or an attitude towards the particular issue from their own perspective is called Standpoint.
The standpoint theory is a post modernistic approach on people’s perception. It states how the day to day experience alters or influences a person’s opinions. Generally standpoint arises when people recognises the value of power that creates a different groups within the society. The standpoint theory focuses on gender perception focusing on to the feminist viewpoints. Sandra Harding and Nancy Hartsock developed the stand point theory through the book “The feminist stand point: Developing ground for a specifically feminist historical materialism”. Nancy Hartsock works were greatly influenced by the concepts of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a German philosopher who studied the standpoints of the people belonging to various socio-economic classes. It has been emerged from the early feminist theory which studies the socio-economic status of the women in the society and is also termed as feminist standpoint theory.
The Standpoint Theory
The standpoint theory concerns with the various levels of people’s perceptions. For instance people have similarity in their opinion depending on their demography and it concerns mostly of general issues. The most influential factor that regulates a perception is through experience. The tradition and culture also shape up a person’s perception to a certain degree. One of the basic factors for altering perceptions is the socio-economic status in the society. The geographical locations, the socio-economic position in the society, the kind of job a person is at, the basic gender differences all cater to the difference to the perspectives.
The core concepts of the standpoint theory are to understand the perspective of the marginalised society particularly the women. The standpoint varies from one person to the other but the collectiveness in perspective can be viewed in certain groups where they share common environments. The perspectives can be basically objective and subjective. The person from a higher position in the society usually sees the issues one-sidedly whereas the person from the average or the lower levels of the society takes the issue more practically. The reason for this is due to the dissimilarities in circumstances in which these two sets of people live in.
While considering the women in the society, the perspective differs majorly. Here the marginalized group, that is the women, they tend to accept the perceptions of the powerful groups. So the circumstances change the perspective of the women.
In the developing countries standpoint theory could be applied to create awareness among the marginalised society. The people who follow the popular perspective can evaluate and understand themselves and to fight for their rights and to contribute to the society.
Early days woman are marginalized from the men perspective and also lesser power. But now the collective marginalized women groups (women’s club, Women welfare organization and NGO for Women) which help to recognize the women in the society. These collective marginalised group advocates for the women in their own standpoint or perspective.