Re: What do you mean - power? (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 06 Feb 95 09:41:00 PST
From: Tagawa, Akio (G) SOCIO <tagawa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Akio Tagawa <ATagawa@xxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: What do you mean - power? (fwd)

In response to Dylan Riley's message, I have the following comments.

Despite the fact that I generally like Weber, I do not think that using
Weber's conception of power or domination has much to do with Foucault's,
because it would appear that the very tradition of viewing power in such a
way is what F is trying to get away from. Weber's version of power implies
that subjects hold a capacity or a resource to produce effects, regardless of
whether or not this capacity is actually exercised or transferred into a form
of manifest action. This also implies that power is rendered as compatible
with the location of power IN people.

For Foucault, power is not something that is possessible, an entity that can
be used, manipulated, or wielded, rather is something that works THROUGH
people. To argue about power otherwise depicts it as something which is
intentional, which is susceptible to the kind of Newtonian analysis exploring
discrete units which move and act upon each other in a finite system whose
universal laws we can systematically expose.

If we replace the idea of power being a possession with a non-proprietorial
concept of power we can view it in a way such that it is disencumbered
of the weight of property rights and responsibilities, also enabling us to
dispense with the problems of cost. This is F's concern with power. To
Foucault we need to think of power not 'at the level of conscious intention
or decision' but at its points of 'real and effective practices'. There is a
call for observing local action, and to establish power as a process, a
process of normalization through the gradual formation of discourses through
disciplinary practice.

Thus, power does NOT divorce itself from a relation between subjects. It does
not even divorce itself from the subjects themselves, since they are not only
the site and vehicle of power's operation in its most capillary form, but
also because subjects owe their very Being (subjectivity, identity) to the
action of power.
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 05 Feb 95 12:48:00 PST
From: Riley, Dylan (G) SOCIO <riley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: What do you mean - power?

I think that Foucault indeed 'acknowledges domination' its just that he
doesn't articulate clearly what this means. Weber argued that domination
means the probability that a given individual will act on the basis of a
command regardless of its specific content. Power for him, had a very
specific meaning, as did discipline. The attempt to establish a
micro-physics of power is problematic because the notion becomes divorced
from a specific relation between subjects. To be constituted as a subject is
already for Foucault to be dominated. The question is this: is the
development of a micro-physics of power the substratum upon which certain
types of relations of domination are based? If so in what sense is it itself
power? The question of exploitation is of course an entirely different
matter which is clearly distinct from but related to the question of


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