- 1. Learning Objectives
- 2. What are Research Ethics?
- 3. Research Ethics Policies
- 4. Key Principles of Research Ethics
- 5. What are Feminist Research Ethics?
- 6. Reflexivity and Self-reflexivity
- 7. Ethics of Care
- 8. Transformation
- 9. Empowerment
- 10. Decolonizing Knowledge Production
- 11. Key Strategies of Feminist Research Ethics
- 12. Review Exercise
- 13. Summary
- 14. Feedback Survey
10. Decolonizing Knowledge Production
A feminist ethical commitment to decolonizing knowledge production relates to a belief that researchers should be critically aware of the ways in which histories of colonialism around the world have fundamentally shaped the production of knowledge about the world.
Historically, knowledge production has been central to enabling colonialism by creating racial and gendered hierarchies of power that have led to the oppression of peoples and the appropriation of land and resources through various forms of violence. Colonial relations of power continue to be manifested in contemporary global inequalities in political, economic and socio-cultural terms, that are in turn reflected in hierarchies in contemporary knowledge production systems.
Decolonizing knowledge production involves interrogating, actively dismantling and seeking to move beyond colonial modes of knowledge production, including by:
- Drawing critical attention to the operation of coloniality in knowledge production, including forms of epistemic violence that result from racial and ethnocentric forms of thinking, and representations of colonized peoples and places around the world.
- Creating less exploitative and more respectful relations between researchers and those who are the subjects of research, as well as between researchers from different parts of the world.
- Critically evaluating citation practices to reflect on whose knowledge is referenced and circulated, the sites where the sources cited are written from, who and which regional knowledges are being erased or marginalized in citation practices, and how citation practices challenge or re-inforce hierarchies in knowledge production around the world.
- Finding new ways of creating knowledge in ways that are inclusive of people who have historically been excluded from knowledge-production processes, including through expanding the parameters of what counts as ‘knowledge’, and who can produce ‘theory’.
- Connecting knowledge creation with practical projects for redressing inequality, overcoming disadvantage, and enabling the self-determination.
- Drawing attention to new and emerging forms of imperialism (for example, systems of domination tied to the expansion of global capitalism) and new possibilities for solidarities to resist the oppressive impacts that result.
References & Resources
- Tuhiwai-Smith, L. 2012. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London and New York: Zed Books.
- Mohanty, C. T. 2003. Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press.
- Audre Lorde, A. 2007. The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House. In: A. Lorde, Sister Outsider, Berkeley: Crossing Press. pp. 110-113.
- Tuck, E and Yang, K. W. 2012, Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1 (1), pp. 1-40. Available at: <http://www.decolonization.org/index.php/des/article/view/18630> [Accessed 12 December 2017]
- The Citation Practices Challenge , organized by Eve Tuck, K. Wayne Yang and Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández, invites you to interrogate and rework your citation practices.