Rhetoric and the Workings of Power—The Social Contract in Crisis

in Social Analysis

As social, cultural, and political subjects, we are all constituted in power. Power is not something external to the subject, but rather a context and an idiom of subjectivity. It is creative and generative, as Foucault (1977) would argue, and also relational insofar as it is manifested in relationships (Etzioni 1993; Kritzman 1988; Wolf 1999). It has long been argued that resistance itself, as Foucault ([1976] 1990: 95) put it, “is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power” (see also Abu-Lughod 1990; Mitchell 1990; Reed-Danahay 1993; Williams 2008). In a recent article on autonomy and the French alter-globalization movement, which also builds on Donald Moore’s (1998) argument, Williams (2008: 80–81) claims that “[r]esistance … emerges not from an originary site but from oppositional practices, which … are always relational and dynamic.”

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Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology


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