In Urban Studies the two theoretical frameworks of positivism and standpoint ideologies hold slightly ontological and epistemological differences in the question of value free science. I will argue from a standpoint perspective that values do and should come into urban studies research because values allow us too empirically and rationally understand urban processes from the perspective of the liberation of gender and heterosexist oppression. First I will develop a working definition of positivist and standpoint frameworks. Second, I will write how traditional empirical science vista inadequately addresses gender and sexual social processes and results in oppression. Third, I will review queer and gender perspectives on science and how they are of value in liberating these individuals from oppression.
To fully understand the argument made in this paper, I will partially define positivism, and standpoint frameworks to be used as a reference point in the readers understanding of the argument. Positivism in this paper will be framed as traditional science, empirical science, ecological science, and feminist empirical science. Positivist science claims to be ‘value free’ (Keat and Urry, 1982). The positivist claim as being ‘value free’ stems from the frameworks dialect that science consist of research that is objective, impartial, neutral and independent of political, personal, religious biases (Keat and Urry, 1982).
I define the standpoint framework using both feminist and ‘queer’ perspectives. While there are multiple types of feminist thought like black feminist, radical feminist, this paper lacks discussion concerning these different categories of feminist thought (McDowell, 1993). Additionally, I use the word queer throughout this paper. The word queer can have negative meaning but I use it here as that is how the framework traditionally defines itself (Knopp, 2007). There is a linguist context on why the framework uses queer instead of gay or lesbian. While it is more complex then my explanation here, the word queer was used in academia as a way to linguistically debunk hegemonic order of science (Knopp, 2007). I use the words gay, lesbian and sexuality throughout the paper to represent ‘queer’ framework. Finally, I use examples of feminist and queer frameworks interchangeably throughout the papers. Feminist and Queer frameworks have some dialectical difference and share some common intersections (Wright, 2010). However, I use multiple frameworks to make my argument that values come into play in urban studies by understanding the social processes of women and gays from the standpoint of liberating minorities from male heterosexist perspective in science.
Value Free Science: Positivist
Mainstream science holds no discussion of socially constructed categories of gender or sexuality and the social processes that mutually constitute these socially constructed categories resulting in oppression. As...