The classical sociological literature on Amhara hierarchy describes a society based on open relations of domination and an obsession with top-down power. This article asks how these accounts can be reconciled with the strong ethics of love and care that ground daily life in Amhara. We argue that love and care, like power, are understood in broadly asymmetrical terms rather than as egalitarian forms of relationship. As such, they play into wider discourses of hierarchy, but also serve to blur the distinction between legitimate authority and illegitimate power.
Forms of Submission and Top-Down Power in Orthodox Ethiopia
Diego Maria Malara and Tom Boylston
Guy van de Walle
Among the many theories of socialization, that of Durkheim stands out. While most analyses of socialization are individualistic, that of Durkheim is holistic. This singularity presents a challenge to the modern mind, which is dominated by individualism. Reading Durkheim's analysis of socialization, like the rest of his work, requires the difficult task of overcoming one's natural tendency to do so through an individualistic lens. This paper is an attempt to restore the original holistic meaning of this analysis. It aims to correct some of Durkheim's commentators' re-interpretations of his views and the everyday language that he uses in individualistic terms. Particular attention is given to Durkheim's distinction between authority and power. This distinction has huge implications for Durkheim's interpretation of socialization, which he sees as a process that primarily involves a particular relationship - one that he describes in terms of 'submission' - with the authority of society.
The consent theory of power, whereby ruling elites depend ultimately on the submission, cooperation and obedience of the governed as their source of power, is often linked to debates about the effectiveness of non-violent political action. According to this theory, ruling elites depend ultimately on the submission, cooperation and obedience of the governed as their source of power. If this cooperation is with-drawn, then this power is undermined. Iain Atack outlines this theory and examines its strengths and weaknesses. Atack argues that incorporating the insights of other theories of power, such as Gramsci's theory of hegemony and Foucault's views on 'micro-power', can provide us with a more sophisticated understanding of both the effectiveness and the limits of nonviolent political action than the consent theory of power. Gramsci's contribution deepens the analysis in terms of our understanding of the origins of individual consent in the context of larger economic and political structures, while Foucault adds a different dimension, in that his micro-approach emphasizes the ubiquity and plurality of power, rather than its embodiment or reification in large-scale structures.
Sexual Autonomy and the End of the French Republic in Michel Houellebecq’s Submission
Michel Houellebecq has an unusual gift for revealing the nervous underside of modern life, so when his “futuristic” novel about an Islamic France, Submission, was released on the very day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the coincidence was both horrific and apropos. Most criticism focuses on the anti-Muslim and anti- Enlightenment elements of the novel, but in this article I argue that Submission should be seen primarily as an engaged work of cultural politics. Houellebecq, measuring the temperature of today’s France, presents a culturally collapsed nation of the near future and focuses on women and Jews as the victims— sacrificed, as it were, by the secular elite. In so doing, I maintain, he pulls heavily from current events, all the while drawing on the memory of Vichy and the Occupation. The novel’s premises, topical at the time of its publication, are even more so today.
Female Sexual Submission in 1890s' Erotica
Presented here is part of an on-going project concerned with nineteenth- century representations of sexuality that play with or deploy power hierarchies for erotic purposes. While there is a growing body of work documenting the ethics, practice, and pleasures of BDSM (a portmanteau acronym meaning Bondage and Domination, Domination and Submission, Sadism and Masochism),2 one cannot of course assume that the ends of the nineteenth century and twentieth century share an understanding of sexual activity where representations of power construct the relationships and acts in a (semi)playful scenario. However, for some BDSM participants the notion of ‘play’ is anathema since they regard BDSM as a lifestyle choice that defines their entire existence.3 Much of the nineteenth-century critical apparatus exercised upon representations of sexual power-play derive from a pathology of desire, the perversion of normative ‘healthy’ sexuality. Terminology is the first difficulty and its problems describe the nature of the theoretical difficulties in engaging with this material. In relation to the kind of material I will be discussing here, the terms most often invoked to define the sexual activity are masochism and sadism, neither of which has a particularly flattering lilt to it, since the words, as commonly defined, describe a self-destructive or destructive violence exercised through sex.
An Argument Catalogue of Submissions to the 2000 Australian Government Inquiry into the Education of Boys
This article describes a study of a sample of submissions to an Australian government Inquiry into the Education of Boys, using a relatively new methodology for reviewing literature, called an argument catalogue. The study examines the usefulness of the methodology to an analysis of the complex field of boys’ education. The author argues that the argument catalogue approach offers a way of including and analysing all voices within the field, particularly the previously under-represented views of parents and practitioners and that despite complexities, there are commonalities that can be built on, which are critical to any positive change in this field.
Rethinking the Influence of Elena Fortún's Celia
Ana Puchau de Lecea
In this article I consider the characterization of Celia, the protagonist in Elena Fortún’s “Celia and Her World” series (1929–1952), and the role of Fortún as a forerunner of women writers in the 1950s. I explore the ways in which Fortún presented herself as a female author offering alternative models of femininity to her readers through the character Celia and the social context of the series. In addition, I examine Fortún’s shifting representation of Celia as a subversive character, and Fortún’s ideological influence on female writers who used similar literary strategies. Using the point of view of the girl in her texts as an insurgent protagonist to reflect different sociohistorical moments in Spain suggests a continuity in Spanish narrative instead of an abrupt change after the Civil War.
What impact did the so-called Vatileaks scandal have on Italian politics? And how deep were the connections between the Vatican and the Italian transition of political assets in 2012? This in-depth analysis shows that the problems of the Church in relation to the state came much before the 2012 crisis, namely, during the time of the reluctant submission of Catholic hierarchies to Berlusconism.
Yoram Peri and Paul L. Scham
We write this in early February 2019, as the parties in the upcoming Israeli elections (due to take place on 9 April) are still sorting themselves out before the deadline for submission of party lists. Social media and ordinary conversations are full of speculations, such as “will Benny and Bogie run with Yair, and will Gabi join them?” and “will Orly, Tami, Yvet, or even Avi fail to make the threshold?” Of course, the ultimate question is, “will Benny topple Bibi?”
My native country, the Netherlands, has just been sucked into its next cycle of popular culturalist violence. Last week (November 2, 2004) in Amsterdam, the filmmaker T. Van Gogh was shot from his bike, his throat slit, and stabbed through the heart by a 26-year-old Dutch Moroccan. Van Gogh had recently produced (with Hirsi Ali, see Focaal 42) an intentionally offensive and facile drama, Submission, broadcast on television, about perceived Islamic intrusions on the female body.