Edited by Gary Craig
Chapter 30: Social justice and culture: on identity, intersectionality, and epistemic privilege
At first glance, a particularist approach may not appear compatible with the universalism that is integral to many influential modern theories of justice. Identities, after all, embody a subjective perspective, which implies a partial view. How can they provide secure and objective knowledge that would be relevant to justice, which has universal reach and scope? This chapter argues that these questions can be addressed by paying attention to recent non-positivist developments in cultural and legal theorizing – including concepts such as “intersectionality” and “epistemic privilege” –at the centre of which is the claim that in many crucial instances focusing on the identities and perspectives of the socially marginalized can produce a deeper knowledge of objective social structures and their effects and “realist” theoretical understanding of social identity and its epistemic status.
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