Blog Center for Dissemination & Implementation Health Equity

Director’s Pick: The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and Resistant Imaginations

Written by Elvin Geng, director of the Center for Dissemination and Implementation at the Institute for Public Health


Implementation science has become deeply engaged in conversations about equity. As a science one of the important domains of equity is in our knowledge generating processes and our knowledge claims.

In The Epistemology of Resistance, Jose Medina uses the social epistemology to unpack how discourse, including scientific conversations, come to be constructed, and interrogate their fairness.  He suggests that what we know cannot be separated from our social positionality. If social structures confer power and advantage to certain groups and disadvantage to others, these dynamics will have influences over what we know and how we value what we know. Medina champions the value of knowledge among oppressed and marginalized groups not just because we want diverse perspectives, but because of their inherent qualities, including the ability to see beyond conventional explanations that are unquestioned by dominant groups.

How does this apply to implementation science? As a science that inevitably involves the collective shared work of many people across organizations and communities, implementation science perhaps more than any other field needs to be cognizant of its epistemic basis to succeed.

The whole book might be a lot to swallow but the dense introduction will provide a solid dose. Want to know what meta-lucidity is?  What about epistemic resistance? Even a few pictures will give you potentially new concepts to work with.

Find the book online.