What is Knowledge?

Knowledge is ONLY Scientific. Knowledge is ONLY scientific. Knowledge is ONLY mathematical.

WRONG!!

Knowledge is much more than fostering into works of positivism or being reductionist. Western knowledge deals in the positivism philosophical system that only deems certain knowledge to be considered “true” knowledge. Anything that is not part of this system of knowledge, is regarded with less or no authority at all. Like Dunn has explained, “Western knowledge systems are built upon the idea of positivism, which is the belief that the most trustworthy source of knowledge is information acquired by the senses and verified by logical, scientific, or mathematical testing” (Dunn: 2014). When in reality, all knowledge has intrinsic values within that are assessed using empathy and compassion. If anything, emotion indicates that a speaker believes in the validity of an argument” (263). One can hear lots of emotion in a story being told, depending on how deeply she feels about a certain issue or that part of her life. Within these stories we can often find experiential knowledge, which is referred to as knowledge that comes from experience. In our Western society, these stories are considered to be just stories, when in reality they offer so much more than just a mere story.

We should see this experiential knowledge as “legitimate, appropriate, and critical to understanding, analyzing, and teaching about racial subordination,” especially when those at the margin have had such a long history of creating creative ways to resist these systems of oppression (Yosso, 2006: p.7). This experiential knowledge can be used to dismantle the values that lie within the systems of oppression that are affecting our everyday lives. It is through the praxis of counter-storytelling daily that will make dismantling values practical. One of the reasons why counterstories exist is to counter the majoritarian stories that we see on a daily basis, whether we like it or not. An important part of counterstories is that they offer experiential knowledge (Click HERE to learn more about counterstories).

The Problems of Western Knowledge

The positivism knowledge in our Western society does not use the practices of accountability. Simply if it is, for example, a statistic given it is considered to be knowledge without any investigation of the knowledge itself. Without investigating experiential knowledge, we as a society, are moving away from holding our society personally responsible, especially when it comes to stories that have conflicts in them (which can be found in all counterstories!). Stories, especially that are given by the media in our current society, are usually told by the perspective of those who the story is actually affecting.

We are often fed fake news, especially in this political climate that we are currently are in. These stories are being told by majoritarian stories we hear in the media. One of the problem is that our society currently does not seek the truth, and if the media creates some kind of drama they are attracting attention. They are then making a profit for things that are not even true and we are literally buying into it. (especially when it comes to over-consumption in our Western society, which I will discuss later throughout this blog).

When it comes to stories and the experiential knowledge within we should be using the epistemological lenses. Using epistemological lenses, we see only a select group can themselves the topic that are writing about and how they write it, providing authenticity. There are core issues or themes that are relevant to many different peoples at the same time, however that does not mean they are the same person. We must be weary about this as the media likes to impose controlling images that aims to do exactly that, especially when 6 corporations own 90% of the media.

One way the media likes to do this is through controlling images, which refers to the images of subordinate groups created by dominant groups that can be either: biased, racists, sexists, etc. We have to educate ourselves on the implications of the use of controlling images and the impact that they have on our society. This would be the first step in understanding why certain people have certain values against others in general. It is only through understanding the opponent that we can learn how to resist the opponent/system. Creating brave spaces within our society would be one way we can resist systems of oppression. We must come together to change our values that the media engrains into our society, solely for profits for them and/or others.  

(Look out for an article on December 1st on over-consumption, controlling images and the uses of brave spaces in the near future!)