Donna Haraway, 'Situated Knowledges: the Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective' (1988)
Empirical studies conducted from a range of theoretical perspectives have all in some way affirmed the existence of women's experience as a source of privileged understandings, if not the basis of an alternative social science. With the turn to post-modernism many of the certainties of a feminist research practice have been dislodged. This has liberated a plethora of exciting philosophical, political and cultural endeavours that tackle the essentialism around women embedded in both feminist and non-feminist texts. The focus in the socialist-feminist literature upon industrial disputes, in which women are expected to express their real identities through solidarity with working-class men, situates this literature solidly within essential Marxism-feminism where consciousness is true or false and subjectivity structurally constructed and constrained. In dissolving the presumed unity of women's identity post-modern feminism has liberated knowledge and given rise to fruitful theoretical controversies as to who women are' and how to know' them.