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MCCLISH, Glen and BACON, Jacqueline

Spring 2002, pages 27-56

"Telling the Story Her Own Way": The Role Of Feminist Standpoint Theory in Rhetorical Studies

Abstract: As the discourse of traditionally marginalized voices becomes increasingly salient in rhetorical studies, standpoint theory-which emphasizes the epistemological importance of the perspectives of oppressed groups-could play a significant role in textual analysis. This essay first outlines the central tenets of standpoint theory and the debate they have generated. We then suggest how standpoint theory, with some significant modifications and expansions, may function as a productive methodology for rhetorical analysis. We demonstrate this potential contribution to our field through analyses of two nineteenth-century texts: Jane Austen's Persuasion and Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
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