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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 - Power and Politics - November 20.docx

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Tania Li

November 20, 2012. Lecture 9 – Politics and Power  Power to: act – create – think – change  Power over: others or political power o Deductive: Dominate, control, coerce, exploit, tax, punish o Productive: Enable, encourage, educate, set conditions  John Allen, Lost Geographies of Power o Power: “makes its presence felt through a variety of modes playing across one another. The erosion of choice, the closure of possibilities, the manipulation of outcomes, the threat of force, the assent of authority or the inviting gestures of a seductive presence…”  Steven Lukes: 3 modes of political power (see also text p. 269) o 1. Formal Decision Making – rules, structures, authorities – visible structures  Elected government  Student/parent/teacher councils  Board meetings (not-for-profit organizations) o 2. Agenda setting, informal influence, coercion, persuasion, inducement – hidden – but can be exposed  Government manipulation, threatening more/less funding  Role of NGOs and lobby groups o 3. Non-debated, routine, muted, embedded in values, taken for granted, “just how it is” – overlooked – invisible  Structure of institutions (eg. School, classroom environments, employment process in the job market, etc.)  Gender roles  Institution of private property, land ownership  Pierre Bourdieu (French anthropologist) o Doxa: the unsaid, the ways of thinking and acting we take for granted  Equivalent to our view on the air we breathe  The way things are set up  Long-term historical institutions o Heterodoxy: the realm we recognize as open to debate – on which opinions differ  Debates over what will become legislature (eg. Same sex marriage, abortion, etc.)  Things that once were “doxa” can turn into heterodoxy (eg. At one point same sex marriage would not have been debated, hetero marriage was just how it was) o Orthodoxy: contentious ideas that are explicitly stated, defended – persuasion used – may be challenged  Michel Foucault o Power of sovereign: deducts  Main form of power during classical, post industrialist eras  Dude sitting in his castle thinking about: the size of his empire, the size of his military, how much wealth he has access to, how much he can tax his citizens, how many people within his realm, etc.  Conscripting people into army, punishing criminals o Governmental power: produces ways of thinking and acting – forms subjects, arranges, sets conditions  Not just thinking on how many people are within their realm of power, but also how productive they are as members of society  Worry about economy, education, social service, etc.  Shapes conduct, educates desire  Intervenes in processes to enhance life, well-being, security  Relies on statistics, social science  Knowledge about society so that society can be properly governed th  Arose during the 19 century along with the form of governmental power  Resistance to Power o Critique: denaturalizes; deconstructs; exposes social organization as arbitrary: it doesn’t have to be thus  Arbitrary in the sense that the way we have organized our society isn’t given in nature; isn’t in the water or the air, isn’t in our genes  Our society is entirely a construct and affected by social, cultural, religious facto
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