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Power. A Review of an Evasive Concept


Seminar: BA, Sozialwissenschaften-Einführung

Dienstag, 14.15 - 15.45 Uhr, Ort: AM k12, Veranstaltungsbeginn: 15.10.2013

The idea of power is very much present in political and social science, and yet power remains a concept difficult to grasp. What does 'power'mean? Is it authority? Force? Influence? Domination? Dependence? Responsibility? Or maybe resistance? This seminar will provide anoverview of the different ways of understanding power while critically reflecting on the various relevant approaches, ranging from classical theory to contemporary political and social perspectives. We will elucidate the connection between the concept of power and several other key notions: power and purpose, power and action, power and responsibility, power and gender, power and discourse. Our overall objective is to develop a multi-faceted definition of power. Although the class is based on theory, it is not strictly a theory class. We will discover together the nature, pursuit, use, abuse, and balance of power by reference to photography. Approaching theory through photographs can contribute to a fuller understanding of abstract concepts by helping acquire deeper insight into how power has been conceptualized. The entire class will be conducted as a seminar. Students are expected to study all assigned readings and actively participate in class discussions. All students will have the opportunity in turn to report on the assigned readings before class discussion.

Literatur: Wird bei der Einführungsveranstaltung bekanntgegeben.

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen: regelmäßige Teilnahme, aktive Mitarbeit, Englisch

Leistungsnachweis: Written assignments (essays).

Sprache: English


Find the Prezi presentations here:

Introductory meeting

Session 1: Hobbes

Session 2: Locke

Session 3: Rousseau

Session 4: Mill

Session 5: Weber

Session 6: Parsons

Session 7: Arendt

Session 8: Dahl & Bachrach / Baratz

Session 9: Lukes

Session 10: Foucault

Session 11: Bordo

Session 12: Bourdieu

Session 13: Castells