Re: forwared post for the public record

wilkr (wilkr@INDIANA.EDU)
Wed, 1 Jun 1994 22:47:40 -0600

I would also like to take issue with this labeling and bashing of
unnamed and uncited feminist "thems." I fear that I am hearing something
like "we've had enough questioning the basis of SCIENCE (or patriarchy),
lets get back to business." As if the science establishment has been
shaken to its roots or changed in any fundamental way. It hasn't.

Frankly, I don't see any problem in continuing to do empirical research
AND engaging in various kinds of critical inquiry about the social &
power positions that guide, inform, structure and underlie that research
practice. And most of the interesting, stimulating and new ideas about
how sceince practice is related to science/academia/western society,
come from feminist theory. Sure, a lot of supposedly "pomo" feminist
criticism is tired, repetetive, obscure and poorly researched. But so is
most non-feminist, non-pomo writing in the social sciences.

If you want to see how the "pomo" concern with power in discourse, power
inscribed on bodies, and ideology in late capitalism can inform critical
and important empirical scientific research, take a look at Nichter &
Nichter's paper "Hype and Weight" in Medical Anthropology, 13(249-284)

And finally - has science ever been welcoming of new ideas and topics? I
think not. If you think anthropology is a conservative discipline that
rejects you because you are on the cutting/bleeding edge - try economics
or education.

Rick Wilk
Indiana University