question of what it means to speak for an-other. I explore that question in relation to philosophers like Linda Alcoff, Iris Marion Young, and Gayatri Spivak, and. ; revised and reprinted in Who Can Speak? Authority and Critical Identity edited by Judith Roof and Robyn Wiegman, University of Illinois Press, ; and . The Problem of Speaking for Others. Author(s): Linda Alcoff. Source: Cultural Critique, No. 20 (Winter, ), pp. Published by: University of.
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There was one woman in line.
On the Problem of Speaking for Others – Hook & Eye
Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism Bloomington: This issue of who gets to speak for whom comes up a lot in my research. What this entails in practice is a serious commitment to remain open to criticism and to attempt actively, attentively, and sensitively to “hear” the criticism understand it.
I think of a panel discussion I attended last year on the Occupy movement, held in a large lecture hall. The conjunction of Premises 1 and 2 suggest that the speaker loses some portion of control over the meaning and truth of her utterance. Any statement will invoke the structures of power allied with the social location of the speaker, aside from the speaker’s intentions or attempts to avoid such invocations.
Still, we can know some of the effects our speech generates: But surely it is both morally and politically objectionable to structure one’s actions around the desire to avoid criticism, especially if this outweighs other questions of effectivity. That is, they will obtain for a very specific location and cannot be taken as universal.
On the Problem of Speaking for Others
As my practices are made possible by events spatially far away from my body so too my own aocoff make possible or impossible practices of others. The feminist movement in the U.
So often, of course, the authority of such persons based on their merit combines with the authority they may enjoy by virtue of their having the dominant gender, race, alcofff, or sexuality. While the “Charge of Reductionism” response has been popular among academic theorists, what I call the “Retreat” response has been popular among some sections of the U. But this does not tell us how groups themselves should be delimited.
For example, can a white woman speak for all women simply by virtue of being a woman? Thanks so much for this amazing reflection! George Marcus and Michael Fischer Chicago: I hope that this analysis will contribute toward rather than diminish the important discussion going on today about how to develop strategies for a more equitable, just distribution of the ability to speak and be heard.
The “ritual of speaking” as defined above in which an utterance is located always bears on meaning and truth such that there is no possibility of rendering positionality, location, or context irrelevant to content. This response is motivated in part by the desire to recognize difference and different priorities, without organizing these differences into hierarchies.
There were two microphones set up in the aisles for audience members to line up behind to ask questions. Our meta-theory of authorship does not preclude the material reality that in discursive spaces there is a speaker or writer credited as the author of her utterances, or that for example the feminist appropriation of the concept “patriarchy” gets tied to Kate Millett, a white Anglo feminist, or probllem the term feminism itself has been and is associated with a Western origin.
The major problem with such a retreat is that it significantly undercuts the possibility of political effectivity. The dominant modernist view has been that truth represents a relationship of correspondence between a proposition and an extra-discursive reality.
Linda Martin Alcoff, The problem of speaking for others – PhilPapers
Freedom, Identity, and Rights. And an important implication of this claim is that meaning must be understood as plural and shifting, since a single text can engender diverse meanings given diverse contexts. These are by no means original: For, in speaking for myself, I am also alcotf my self in a certain way, as occupying a specific subject-position, having certain characteristics and not others, and so on.
I do a lot of work on disability studies and MUVEs, using interviews and focus groups as source material.
Elliot Yale Neaman – – Critical Review 2 The final response to the problem of speaking for others that I will consider occurs in Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s rich essay “Can the Subaltern Speak? To answer this, we must become clearer on the epistemological and metaphysical claims prohlem are implicit in the articulation of the problem.
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The Problem of Speaking For Others
The recognition that there is a problem in speaking for others has followed from the widespread acceptance of two claims. Thus, one woman’s experience of sexual assault, its effect on her and her interpretation of it, should not be taken as a universal generalization to which others must subsume or conform their experience. Now, sometimes I think this is the speakinv response to the problem of speaking for others, depending on who is making it.
However, errors are unavoidable in theoretical inquiry as well as political struggle, and they usually make contributions.
Another problem concerns how specific an identity needs to be to confer epistemic authority. Such a reductionist theory might, for example, reduce evaluation to a political assessment of the speaker’s location where that location is seen as an insurmountable essence that fixes one, as if one’s feet are superglued to a spot on the sidewalk.
I want to illustrate the implications of this fourth point by applying it to the examples I speakking at the beginning.