- With the power of the pyramid, the people at the bottom are dependent on the people at the
top are dependent on the people at the bottom
- Those at bottom need the top to tell them what to do, and pay them
- Those at the top need the people at the bottom or else they wouldn’t have any production
Organization of consent
- People learn to identify the interest of the ruling class as their own
Marx was very important in understanding the class relations, However his theories were organized
around a grand narrative. Grand narrative ; was theories that seek to explain everything. Ex. of
understanding power relations through an analysis of class and exploitation. We need multiple theories
to explain things.
Poststructuralist: They say no! They reject sweeping explaination. Ex. Michel Foucault argued that
knowledge and power are interrelated. He says wherever knowledge is produced, it is socially produced.
Power relations affect the types of knowledge is produced. Therefore power is not neutral. One example
of how power works according to him is through normalization. Normalization is something that is
produced becomes “normal”
How does normalization work?
1. Through Repetition
2. Through Power, if your own tv a lot, and you decided that its cool to wear a cap on your head,
there is people that might follow it.
3. Regulation, it is normal to start minimum wage, this is more political and more of the law,
people structure their lives based on these structures and laws
4. Differentiates, you create something that is normal and abnormal
5. Hierarchy, normal is good but deviant is bad
6. Encourage homogenization, if you are deviant you should become normal. If you’re a deviant
you should take steps to be normal
Foucault also argues that instead of thinking of power through a top down mechanism we should think
of it as a web. This means that power is relational, the way it is exercised depends on the context.
Example, power relation in the classroom. The teacher gives you a grade; however she is not the only
one that can determine your grade. You can determine it whether you are deserve a better grade or not
by question why you got that mark. On the other hand the students can have the power too, they can
choose whether or not to go to class, or if the teacher gave all the students F’s then they have the
power to resist. Therefore it creates a sort of web relation. Another example is you family, your parents
have the authority and can tell you what to do, however you can use the power and manipulate your
parents into buying you things.
Tools for analyzing power relations:
- Ask how social relations operate