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Epistemic Injustice in Academia: Class, Race and Gender in Feminist Knowledge Production

About the project

Feminist scholarship(s) offers critiques of orders and practices of inequality. But to what extent does it contribute to these itself? This project seeks to unpack gendered, raced and classed tensions within critical feminist knowledge production, in order to explore how these contribute to the reproduction of social inequality. The project explicates how the historical, social and political processes – within which feminist scholarship(s) is embedded – shape whose and which knowledge is deemed legitimate/illegitimate. It asks: what and whose knowledge achieves status as credible, valuable and legitimate, why is this so, how does it become the subject of ongoing struggles and a source of the reproduction of inequality within academia. These issues will be addressed through an analysis of feminist academics experiences of engaging in feminist knowledge production within the specific historical, social and disciplinary contexts.


To understand the epistemic, social, institutional and historical processes that position some forms of knowing and knowers as more legitimate than others.


I draw on the method-of-inquiry Institutional Ethnography (see Dorothy Smith 2005, Rebecca Lund 2015). Beyond this I am inspired by amongst others Miranda Fricker’s ‘Epistemic Injustice’, Clare Hemmings' work on ‘Affective Dissonance/Affective Solidarity’, Sara Ahmed’s ‘Queer Phenomenology’, R.W. Connell’s ‘Southern Theory’ and Beverley Skeggs’ ‘Class, Self, Culture’. My empirical studies in Norway will at first be focused on knowledge production within Gender Studies. With time these will, however, be expanded to look at feminist knowledge production in other disciplines. Moreover, in addition to my ethnographic studies I will carry out a quantitative study of the field, including academics and students. The research project is a development and continuation of research I have done in Finland over the course of two years, in the longer run I hope to develop a comparative analysis of the Nordic countries. 


Centre for Gender Research, University of Oslo, 2019-2023


My most important collaboration partners are:

Helene Aarseth, University of Oslo, STK, Norge

Julie Rowlands, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Ana Luisa Munoz, Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile  

Suvi Ronkainen, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland

Susan Wright, Aarhus University, DPU, Copenhagen, Danmark

Kirsten Locke, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Louise Morley, CHEER: Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research, University of Sussex, UK

Tags: Gender, Academia, Knowledge, Feminist theory, Institutional Ethnography
Published Apr. 25, 2019 9:25 AM - Last modified Sep. 28, 2020 1:44 PM