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Objectivity and DiversityAnother Logic of Scientific Research$
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Sandra Harding

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226241227

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226241531.001.0001

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Women, Gender, Development

Women, Gender, Development

Maximally Objective Research?

(p.52) 3 Women, Gender, Development
Objectivity and Diversity

Sandra Harding

University of Chicago Press

The strong objectivity standard is also relevant to social science research. For example, starting off research about Third World development policy from the daily lives of the poorest women in the Global South reveals many factual errors in development assumptions that shape World Bank policy. Women were not left out of development, as some thought. Instead, the appropriation of women’s and peasants’ land rights and labor have provided resources for the expansion of market economies. Moreover, such economism is a faulty measure of human development. The vast majority of the world’s poor are women and their dependents, yet development policy rarely is focused directly on improving their conditions. Indeed, during the “development era,” the gap between the rich and poor has vastly increased. In official statistics, most of women’s double-days of work is treated as not real work. Yet women’s domestic and caring labor, work in informal markets, and volunteer work are all socially necessary labor. Thus women’s labor subsidizes capitalist expansion and state obligations for citizen welfare. Development policies that fail to take account of the daily needs of the poor always impoverish and immiserate them even further.

Keywords:   development, economism, labor, caring, double-days, informal, objectivity, poverty, women, World Bank

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