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Sociology can be a potent tool for the emancipatory youth worker discuss - Essay Example
Pages 10 (2510 words)
The struggle for power involves us in a daily battle f influencing, persuading, commanding or, when all else fails, forcing people to do what we want while, at the same time, preventing them from exerting their will over us. But power extends beyond this mosaic f interpersonal struggles…
"It is never localized here or there, never in anybody's hands, never appropriated as a commodity or piece f wealth" (1980a, p. 98).
Although discourse and practice pre-exist us, we learn to harness them to our own end. The notion f power being located within rules and regulations which are continually adopted and transformed by individual agents is central to Giddens' structuration theory f power (1984,p. 14). Foucault is known for his work analyzing changes in the discourse and practice f discipline and punishment, particularly in relation to education (1977a) but, with the exception f Dwyer's (1995) study f post-compulsory education in Australia, his theories have not had any major impact in adult education (Westwood, 1992).
To understand the notion f empowerment and emancipation, we must begin with an analysis f power. This leads immediately to a fundamental problem: If power dictates or produces truth, how do we recognize true statements about power More fundamentally, is truth possible beyond power We may believe, with Habermas, that there is a realm f truth which exists beyond power and which is central to authentic human being, communication, and voluntary social order. Habermas (1984) argues that the "orientation to reaching understanding" is a universal feature f human communication which is central to overcoming self-interest and the domination f economic and political power in our lives (p. 286). ...