File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_2004/foucault.0410, message 35

Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2004 11:59:50 +0100
Subject: Re: Pouvoir

yes, but it is a network of relations - of relations of force - between  
"bodies" and between determinate collections of bodies. and it is a  
relation between bodies that make things, or more specifically, certain  
forms of action, of conduct, and certain forms of subject positions and  
thus subjectivities possible. power is productive: from "pro" forward, and  
"ducere" to lead - power "brings into being," it "brings forth," it  
"brings about," etc. thus power is a potentiality not in the sense of a  
range of capabilities that a person or thing has (objective capacities),  
but in the sense of being a possibility - not being but becoming.

and in the subject and power - which is a formulation of power from the  
1980s, not the 1970s - foucault notes three types of relations: power  
relations, relations of communication, and "objective" capacities, three  
relations that 'should confused...[and yet which]...overlap one  
another, support one another reciprocally, and use each other mutually as  
a means to an end.'

and in 'Les mailles du pouvoir, foucault states:

«Comment surveiller quelqu’un, comment contrôler sa conduite, son  
comportement, ses aptitudes, comment intensifier sa performance,  
multiplier ses capacités, comment le mettre à la place où il sera le plus  

"How to supervise somebody, how to control his conduct, his behavior, his  
aptitudes, how to intensify his performance, to multiply his capacities,  
how to place him in the position where he will be the most useful."


On Sun, 10 Oct 2004 12:12:26 +1000, Mark Kelly <>  

> no, power is neither a property, a substance or a potentiality. It is a  
> relation (power relation) or network of relations, depending on context.
> See 'the subject and power'.
> In addition, I'd like to mark the passing of Jacques Derrida by saying  
> that there has surely been no more important writer in the last fifty  
> years.
> Mark

Kevin Turner
Deptment of Sociology
County South
Lancaster University

(01524) 594508


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