Anthropology of Power And Resistance

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The word 'anthropology' is ultimately from the Greek (anthropos, 'human', plus logos, 'discourse' or 'science'). Its first usage to define a scientific discipline is probably around the early sixteenth century (in its Latin form anthropologium). Central European writers then employed it as a term to cover anatomy and physiology; part of what much later came to be called 'physical' or 'biological anthropology.


For the understanding of anthropology of power, first we have to understand what power is, how it is constituted, and how it works within an allegedly postmodern world in which older rules of authority seem to have decreasing relevance'. The impacts of policy interventions and opportunities at state, supra-state and extra-state levels for example, on the ways in which people evade or ignore the reach of the state in constructing economic power beyond state control; the opportunities for and constraints on ethnic, gender and other group or categorical empowerment offered by institutions such as United Nations agencies and forums, multinational Non-Governmental Organizations, the European Union, the International Court of Justice, the Internet and the global media, among many others; the possibilities for empowerment by manipulating the interstices between local, regional and central levels of state bureaucratic organization; and issues of 'management'".
Foucault's conceptualization of power is "individuals are always in the position of simultaneously undergoing and exercising this power. They are not only its inert or consenting target; they are always also the elements of its articulation the vehicles of power, not its points of application. (Foucault, M. (1980) Power/Knowledge, (ed.) C. ...
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