Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2233473
 
 

References (31)



 


 



Power is Everywhere: Social Inequality from Discursive Formations to Patterns of Activation


Kathleen Cole


Metropolitan State University

December 17, 2012


Abstract:     
According to Foucault, discourse is centrally important for the formation and maintenance of power relations and for the construction of identities. That is to say, the language that we use to make sense of the world both reflects the contemporary power relations and affects the kind of selves we become. This element of Foucauldian theory has been generally accepted by contemporary political theorists. However, as Judith Butler notes, Foucault’s own theorizing cannot explain the way in which socially constructed subjectivity functions. As a result, Foucauldian theorizing leaves open the question of the way in which the social construction of the self affects how people perceive and think about the world. In this paper, I offer a theoretical model of the way in which socially constructed subjectivity functions. Drawing upon both Foucauldian theory and research from social cognitive psychology, I present a model of the functioning of subjectivity that illustrates the way in which power relations shape who we are at the most fundamental, cognitive level. I conclude the paper by considering the political implications of the model for social justice activists and theorists concerned with creating more just, equitable, and humane power relations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: Michel Foucault, Social Construction, Social Cognition, Power, Social Justice

working papers series


Download This Paper

Date posted: March 16, 2013 ; Last revised: March 19, 2013

Suggested Citation

Cole, Kathleen, Power is Everywhere: Social Inequality from Discursive Formations to Patterns of Activation (December 17, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2233473 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2233473

Contact Information

Kathleen Cole (Contact Author)
Metropolitan State University ( email )
700 East Seventh Street
St. Paul, MN 55106
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 371
Downloads: 61
Download Rank: 203,086
References:  31

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.265 seconds