"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). ...Show more