relations of power
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Religions ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 13 (1) ◽  
pp. 48
Giorgos Papantoniou ◽  
Anna Depalmas

In the framework of this contribution, and taking a macro-historic sacred landscapes approach, we established a comparative project analysing in parallel the development of sacred landscapes of two mega-islands, Cyprus and Sardinia, at the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age. In both Cyprus and Sardinia, the period between the 12th and 8th centuries BC seems to have been a time when re-negotiations of individual, societal, and political identities took place, and this is clearly reflected on the construction of the sacred landscapes of the two islands. We first present our ‘landscape/macro-historic approach’; we then define the chronological horizon and the socio-historical contexts under discussion for each island, exploring at the same time how the hierarchical arrangement of ritual sites appearing at this transitional phase seems to be related with articulated social order or linked with shifting relations of power and cultural influence. Finally, we proceed to a discussion addressing the following three questions: (1) what is the relation between individual insularities and the construction of sacred landscapes on these two mega-islands?; (2) how can a ‘landscape/macro-historic approach’ assist us in better formulating microscopic approaches on both islands at the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age?; and (3) is a comparative approach viable?

2022 ◽  
pp. 303-326
Annette Brömdal ◽  
Ian Davis

Although pre-service Health and Physical Education (HPE) teachers may be acquainted with media headlines categorizing intersex bodies as “deviant,” “non-biological,” “different,” and/or “non-natural” in their reporting on eligibility testing in women's elite sports, few appear to be familiar with what intersex includes and what these tests were designed to reveal. Drawing on Evan and Rich's advocacy to critically analyse body-policies with strong normative body-pedagogies, this chapter unpacks how athletes marked by this category cannot be understood as separate from the corporeal instructions and ‘authorities' that mark and regulate their bodily representation. The chapter inspires and encourages HPE teachers to take the ‘risk' of engaging students in disruptive practices which explore the inscription of power onto particular bodies and abilities in sports and how they as both pedagogues and members of society are all ethically implicated in these relations of power.

AJIL Unbound ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 116 ◽  
pp. 10-15
Odette Mazel

Queer theory's commitments are radical and disruptive. They have operated to interrogate the definition and reinforcement of sexuality and gender categories, and to expose and problematize normalized relations of power and privilege in the institutional structures and systems in which we live and operate. Queer's deconstructive and anti-normative (or non-conformist) tendencies, however, can be antithetical to international LGBTQIA+ law reform projects. In much of queer scholarship, human rights activism is framed as reinforcing heteronormative structures of knowledge and power and promoting fixed ideas of monogamy, social reproductivity, and gender identity. In this essay, I work with the tension between queer theory and the law to frame the continued pursuit of human rights by LGBTQIA+ people as queer jurisprudence. I do so by drawing on the methodological tools provided by Eve Sedgwick's technique of reparative reading and Michel Foucault's ethics of care of the self to focus on the lived experience of LGBTQIA+ people. What emerges through the stories of LGBTQIA+ commitments to human rights and legal activism are not themes of naivety, compliance, or assimilation, as often charged, but ongoing efforts toward disruption, creativity, and hope.

2021 ◽  
pp. 089331892110622
Jette Ernst

Struggles over new organisational technology are, almost without exception, studied inside organisations. This paper aims to advance our understanding of how technology is embedded in social forces and relations of power that reach beyond individual organisations. It examines the ongoing discursive struggles in public media outlets between consultant doctors and regional actors concerning a controversial electronic health record (EHR) system, called the Health Platform, which was implemented in 20 Danish hospitals. A theoretical framework inspired by Bourdieu’s understanding of discursive activity in a field subsumed in a multi-level and cultural understanding of framing is used to examine the interests connected to platform design and its organisational future states. It is demonstrated that winning the support of the public is pivotal in the construction of frames by both groups of actors in their efforts to define problems and solutions and, ultimately, influence a political decision concerning the platform’s future.

2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (2) ◽  
Jayne Raisborough ◽  
Watkins Susan

This paper draws on cultural gerontology and literary scholarship to call for greater academic consideration of age and ageing in our imaginations of the future.  Our work adds to the development of Critical Future Studies (CFS) previously published in this journal, by arguing that prevailing ageism is fuelled by specific constructions of older populations as a future demographic threat and of ageing as a future undesirable state requiring management and control.  This paper has two parts: the first considers the importance of the future to contemporary ageist stereotypes. The second seeks potential counter representations in speculative fiction.  We argue that an age-aware CFS can allow us not only to imagine newfutures but also to reflect critically on the shape and consequences of contemporary modes of relations of power.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Marianthi Kourti

The ontological status of autism has been a subject of considerable debate and philosophical approaches of it have been recent and sparse. On the one hand, from its conception, autism has been historically heavily located in the fields of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience, which often assume access to an “objective,” neutral and infallible reality that is external to the research process and is based on the autistic person’s biology and behavioural characteristics, which can be scientifically observed and studied. On the other, proponents of the neurodiversity movement argue against medicalised and pathologising approaches to autism and toward approaches that consider social constructions of autism and relations of power. The Critical Realist philosophy can help reconcile the two positions. Critical Realism conceptualises objectivity as a statement about an object, rather than a neutral and infallible reality. Consequently, Critical Realism suggests that access to reality can only occur through fallible theories. It also suggests that effective theorising goes beyond appearances and phenomena and may even contradict them, which can help challenge dominant behaviourist approaches on autism. I then explore how the tenets of Critical Realism can help strengthen autistic-led theories of autism, the arguments they make, as well as how they support the importance of community autism knowledge. Finally, I present how Critical Realism’s approach to knowledge itself as well as the process of knowledge creation can strengthen autistic theorising, autistic participation in autism research and autistic emancipation. In the last part of the article, I explore how the concepts of Critical Realism apply to autistic sociability. I start with the debate between structure and agency, how Critical Realism reconciles this debate and the implications for autistic emancipation and autism research. I then present Critical Realism’s process of critique and explanation, how they connect to human emancipation and how they can lead to impactful change in autism research by requiring clear links from research to practice, enhancing practices with strong theoretical underpinnings and thus aiding the aims of emancipatory autism research.

2021 ◽  
Vol 3 (2) ◽  
pp. 64-80
Elizabeth McGibbon ◽  
Katherine Fierlbeck ◽  
Tari Ajadi

Health equity (HE) is a central concern across multiple disciplines and sectors, including nursing. However, the proliferation of the term has not resulted in corresponding policymaking that leads to a clear reduction of health inequities. The goal of this paper is to use institutional ethnographic methods to map the social organization of HE policy discourses in Canada, a process that serves to reproduce existing relations of power that stymie substantive change in policy aimed at reducing health inequity. In nursing, institutional ethnography (IE) is described as a method of inquiry for taking sides in order to expose socially organized practices of power. Starting from the standpoints of HE policy advocates we explain the methods of IE, focusing on a stepwise description of theoretical and practical applications in the area of policymaking. Results are discussed in the context of three thematic areas: 1) bounding HE talk within biomedical imperialism, 2) situating racialization and marginalization as a subaltern space in HE discourses, and 3) activating HE texts as ruling relations. We conclude with key points about our insights into the methodological and theoretical potential of critical policy research using IE to analyze the social organization of power in HE policy narratives. This paper contributes to critical nursing discourse in the area of HE, demonstrating how IE can be applied to disrupt socially organized neoliberal and colonialist narratives that recycle and redeploy oppressive policymaking practices within and beyond nursing.

2021 ◽  
Vol 56 (4) ◽  
pp. 161-168
Tereza Butková

What is care and who is paying for it? Valuing care and care work does not simply mean attributing care work more monetary value. To really achieve change, we must go so much further.As the world becomes seemingly more uncaring, the calls for people to be more compassionate and empathetic towards one another—in short, to care more—become ever-more vocal. The Care Crisis challenges the idea that people ever stopped caring, but also that the deep and multi-faceted crises of our time will be solved by simply (re)instilling the virtues of empathy. There is no easy fix.In this groundbreaking book, Emma Dowling charts the multi-faceted nature of care in the modern world, from the mantras of self-care and what they tell us about our anxieties, to the state of the social care system. She examines the relations of power that play profitability and care off in against one another in a myriad of ways, exposing the devastating impact of financialisation and austerity.The Care Crisis enquires into the ways in which the continued off-loading of the cost of care onto the shoulders of underpaid and unpaid realms of society, untangling how this off-loading combines with commodification, marketisation and financialisation to produce the mess we are living in. The Care Crisis charts the current experiments in short-term fixes to the care crisis that are taking place within Britain, with austerity as the backdrop. It maps the economy of abandonment, raising the question: to whom care is afforded? What would it mean to seriously value care?

2021 ◽  
Arora, Saurabh Arora, Saurabh ◽  
Ajit Menon ◽  
M. Vijayabaskar ◽  
Divya Sharma ◽  
V. Gajendran

Social exclusion is considered critical for understanding poverty, livelihoods, inequality and political participation in rural India. Studies show how exclusion is produced through relations of power associated with gender, caste, religion and ethnicity. Studies also document how people confront their exclusion. We use insights from these studies – alongside science and technology studies – and rely on life history narratives of ‘excluded’ people from rural Tamil Nadu, to develop a new approach to agency as constituted by two contrasting ways of relating: control and care. These ways of relating are at once social and material. They entangle humans with each other and with material worlds of nature and technology, while being mediated by structures such as social norms and cultural values. Relations of control play a central role in constituting exclusionary forms of agency. In contrast, relations of care are central to the agency of resistance against exclusion and of livelihood-building by the ‘excluded’. Relations can be transformed through agency in uncertain ways that are highly sensitive to trans-local contexts. We offer examples of policy-relevant questions that our approach can help to address for apprehending social exclusion in rural India and elsewhere.

Refuge ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 37 (2) ◽  
pp. 30-37
Hashem Abushama

This short intervention starts by discussing Giorgio Agamben’s theoretical formulation of ‘bare life,’ popular in refugee studies. Thinking with the case study of Palestinian refugee camps, particularly in the West Bank, it argues that there are clear limitations to the discourse of and bare life. I argue that ‘bare life’ neither accounts for the multilayered relations of power, particularly colonialism, slavery, and indigenous genocide, that systemically make certain populations more susceptible to its power than others. Nor does it account for the modes of of those who are systemically relegated to its sphere. I conclude by working through some of the theoretical formulations around body politics from the field of Black studies, particularly Alexander Weheliye's 2014 concept of the flesh, in order to explore new directions they may point us towards in refugee studies.

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