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ERIC Number: EJ831984
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-1521-0960
Postpositivist Realist Theory: Identity and Representation Revisited
Gilpin, Lorraine S.
Multicultural Perspectives, v8 n4 p10-16 Nov 2006
In postpositivist realist theory, people like Paula Moya (2000) and Satya Mohanty (2000) make a space that at once reflects and informs my location as a Third-World woman of color and a Black-immigrant educator in the United States. In postpositivist realist theory, understanding emerges from one's past and present experiences and interactions as interpreted in sociopolitical contexts. Understanding, then, is relative to one's experiences as a raced, gendered, classed, nationalized, and so forth, being. Women and other oppressed peoples are encouraged to define and articulate their social, economic, and political realities in their own terms as part of an ongoing movement to show how structural forces shape their lives and how they act on their own behalf within the context of such forces. Although multifaceted, four tenets of postpositivist realist theory that inform this article (and are described more fully in the second half of this article) are (1) identities are both constructed and real, (2) identities are mediated through cognitive and social processes, (3) knowledge garnered in the context of oppression should be afforded epistemic privilege, and (4) the power of individual and collective agency should be part of discussions of identity (Henze, 2000; Mohanty, 2000; Moya & Hames-Garcia, 2000). This article explores how, in the case of my life, a postpositivist realist approach more closely represents the dynamics and ramifications of identity.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A