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Introduction

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

Elisabeth Kirtsoglou

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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Anna Lopes

This article provides a reassessment of the Berlin socialist women's movement of the mid-1890s as a historically significant attempt to establish a new kind of gender politics. The article shows how the movement provides an entry point to a broader, richer, more complicated feminist resistance than previously recognized. The historiographical processes that have narrowed interpretations of the movement are explored through a feminist-Foucauldian lens, which reveals the more collaborative activities and fluid alliances both among the women's groups and between them and a wider circle of social democratic men. A feminist-Foucauldian approach shifts attention to the movement's formation as an effect of power, highlighting its innovative organizational style, leadership, theorists, ideas, and resistance activities.

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Mythili Rajiva

In this article, I examine how second generation South Asian Canadian girls negotiate their racialized position in peer culture, through various strategies of accommodation, denial and resistance. I use feminist post-structuralist theories of discourse and positioning with feminist and narrative methods to analyze my interviews with ten subjects about their racialized adolescence. I argue that girls use certain strategies of accommodation—'passing', wannabe-ism, and strategic Otherness—to fit in without abandoning their ethnicized identities. Strategies of denial surface through girls' internalizing of dominant discourses of racism; this leads them to rationalize racism or invoke assimilationist narratives that hold minorities responsible for their own experiences of exclusion. Girls also use strategies of resistance in which they identify hegemonic discourses of belonging, speak openly about racism or criticize aspects of white culture in the context of South Asian community and family norms.

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Staying and Critiquing

Israeli Orthodox Women Filmmakers

Valeria Seigelsheifer and Tova Hartman

Over the past two decades, Israeli Orthodox Jewish women filmmakers have used film to speak in a public voice about various subjects that were previously taboo. Although there are aspects of Orthodoxy to which these filmmakers object, they do so as ‘devoted resisters’. Rather than expressing heretical opposition, the women stay committed to Orthodoxy precisely because they are able to use filmmaking to resist. In their negotiations of voice used to ‘justify’ their decision to become filmmakers, the women position themselves as ‘accidental’ filmmakers, thereby remaining within Orthodoxy while critiquing it through their films. Cultural resistance in this case is not carried out as defiance to Orthodox Judaism but rather out of a relationship with it, featuring a form of resistance that insists upon devotion to multiple commitments.

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Up in smoke?

The making and unmaking of a rural moral economy

Sara Keene

This paper draws on the work of E. P. Thompson to understand anticapitalist resistance in northern California in the 1960s and 1970s. Through an analysis of the back-to-the-land movement in a region I call “Claytown,” I show how the making of a rural moral economy was in part enabled by the presence of a nascent marijuana industry. However, whereas a relatively small-scale marijuana industry helped forge anticapitalist resistance in the 1960s and 1970s, this industry has become a form through which values of capitalist political economy are being instantiated and reasserted. I situate my ethnographic analysis within a broader historical and legal framework to show how a contemporary moral economy is made and increasingly unmade in the context of late capitalism.

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Available in Hell

Germaine Tillion's Operetta of Resistance at Ravensbrück

Donald Reid

Pierre Vidal-Naquet called the three studies resister Germaine Tillion had published in 1946, 1973, and 1988, on the concentration camp to which she had been sent, her “three Ravensbrücks.”4 Although resistance is important in each, these works focus primarily on the relation of exploitation to extermination in the camps. There is, however, a first, or perhaps a fourth, “Ravensbrück,” which is neither a memoir nor a history like the other three. In it, the state of resistance in which Tillion lived her deportation comes to the fore. Inspired by Jacques Offenbach’s L’Orphée aux Enfers, Tillion wrote Le Verfügbar aux Enfers in late 1944 at Ravenbrück, after having spent a year incarcerated there. Like David Rousset’s frequent reference to Père Ubu in L’Univers concentrationnaire (1946), his essay on Buchenwald, Tillion’s operetta reminds us that the genres we usually call on to present the horrific in the normal world may be lacking when the horrific is the norm.

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Reforming universities in the Middle East

Trends and contestations from Egypt and Jordan

Daniele Cantini

This article addresses the core-periphery nexus by looking at some of the reform packages proposed in the 2000s in these two pivotal countries in the Middle East, Egypt and Jordan, as well as the resistances they generated. These reform packages include internationalisation and privatisation policies, as well as World Bank–sponsored programmes intended to enhance the higher education sector. These programmes are marked by a high degree of isomorphism with global trends: they belong to an unquestioned centre, with peripheries as receiving points of policies elaborated elsewhere. In this article, I examine some of the resistances they were met with in Egypt and Jordan and show how their translations were shaped by the logics of the local contexts so that they were rarely implemented. Looking at post–Arab Spring developments, the article reflects on the continuity of reform packages amidst political turmoil, and the ways in which these reforms are altering or reinforcing processes of peripheralisation.

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‘Time Is Like a Soup’

Boat Time and the Temporal Experience of London’s Liveaboard Boaters

Ben Bowles

Itinerant boat-dwellers (‘boaters’) on the waterways of London speak about their lives as occurring in a time zone that is separate from the sedentary world around them. ‘Boat time’, as boaters call it, is simultaneously slow and unpredictable. The slow aspect of boat time is said to provide a much-needed contrast to the fast and highly choreographed movements of the city surrounding the towpaths. It becomes part of the boaters’ rhetoric of difference from, and resistance to, the state and other sedentary elements surrounding them. This article suggests that temporal experiences are a constitutive part of identity, a strategic component of resistance to the sedentary order, and a thread that links the disparate aspects of boaters’ own lives aboard.

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Thomas R. Flynn and Steven Hendley

Ronald Aronson and Adrian van den Hoven (eds.), We Have Only This Life To Live: The Selected Essays of Jean-Paul Sartre, 1939-1975 Review by Thomas R. Flynn

Sonia Kruks, Simone de Beauvoir and the Politics of Ambiguity Review by Steven Hendley

Sean B. Carroll, Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize Review by Damon Boria

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Afterword(s)

The Great Variety of Readers

David Scott Kastan

Pluralizing has increasingly become a norm of cultural criticism, offering a (literally, if not exclusively) nominal escape from totalization: ‘meanings’ not ‘meaning’; ‘histories’ not ‘history’; and, here, ‘literacies’ not ‘literacy’. The plural forms are neologisms perhaps (as my spell-checker insists), but they are also registers of a discomfort with nouns that imply a singularity of effect belied by the multiple activities and agents that produce it. They mark the scholar’s resistance to monolithic understandings of complex and various cultural phenomena.