From: akomlosi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx (Alexander K.)
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 1997 11:31:41 -0400 (EDT)
Jon Eskelson recently wrote:
"power...is and (sic) [an] understanding of the way people in society
understand things in general around them."
I wonder if he and others would care to illuminate ....
1. what is this process of "understanding"? to leave it as such is vague,
_I_ don't understand.... I think power functions based on certain
understandings and conceptions, sure, but I don't see how it "is [an]
understanding"....are we witness some conflation here?
He also wrote:
"power is developed in the practices which we in society acceopt and use..."
1. Again this is vague...what does "developed" mean here? Explain how
power is developed, please. I think of the Panopticon F. discusses and see
how certain paths of power and control are developed, but I don't see how
power itself is. perhaps my failure to understand stems from a conceptual
block I have with f.'s understanding of (as I interpret it) power as process.
Then I think, let's get basic and head to a dictionary.
Random House College defines power as:
1. ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
.... 3. great or marked ability to do or act; strength; might; force.... 6.
legal ability, capacity, or authority...
So to me power seems rooted in the ability to do, not just the doing itself,
even though the doing (i.e. process) (re)informs and constructs the ability
to do - in other words it is a recursive relationship. My problem with
foucault has always been his attempt to focus less on who is involved in
paths of power, and more on the paths themselves. This tendany in theory
also seems pervasive in contemporary society where we are unable to (and
perhaps unwilling) to locate (and blame) those responsible (in postitions of
power), those who have markedly more abiltity to act and do.
Thanks for listening, I appreciate your response.