Power: A Very Short Introduction

Description: In this book, explain the meaning of power in the humanities and social sciences. I outline the controversial debates that define power as power over others versus the power to do things and power as individual agency versus agency as determined by societal power structures. I discuss how Marxist, psychoanalytic, feminist poststructuralist, intersectional, and (feminist) decolonial approaches to power represent approaches from these distinctions. I also foreground how my conception of power resolves these controversies. I show that the concepts of the “moment of the limit” and the “subject-in outline” allow me to theorize an intermediary position between the focus on individual agency versus societal power structures, and the theoretical frameworks I draw on recognize both the power to oppress and power in the form of agency.

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