A significant problem with conventional analyses of power relations is that they ultimately conceive of individuals internalizing certain aspects of their contextual social environments (desires or norms) which determine their future behaviour. Taking issue with such approaches we rework Foucault’s theory of power using insights from Barnes’ performative theory of social institutions. This enables us to comprehend social life as the product of the continuous interaction of heterogeneous but mutually susceptible individuals. These relationships are permeated by different technologies of power focused on the materiality of the body. From this perspective, bodies, rather than minds, are central to power dynamics. Drawing on empirical work on Dalit activists we argue that power should be conceived as an ongoing dynamic between power holders and power subjects. Both domination and resistance are, thus, seen not only as integral to the dynamics of power but as constitutive of individual and group identities and practices. It is only in this context that we can understand resistance movements amongst the most marginalized and vulnerable social groups.
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
|Event||The Sociological Review: 100th Anniversary Conference - |
Duration: 14 Jun 2016 → 17 Jun 2016
|Conference||The Sociological Review: 100th Anniversary Conference|
|Period||14/06/16 → 17/06/16|