I am very interested in the way that, aside from its relationship to sexuality, Foucault crafts his nuanced definition of power. At times, it seems he almost airs on the edge of depoliticizing the presence of power by making claims that about its omnipresence and everywhereness. However, what is most powerful about this conception, is that he artfully manages to posit this evasive power within a political framework of dominance and oppression. Foucault is most clear on the many faces of power in his section on 'Metho' (p. 92-3) where he appears to explain the 'power' of power through its multi-faceted manifestations:
â€¢First, power through 'an instance' â€“ in which 'organization' is created
â€¢ Second, power through 'a process' â€“ in which struggle to confirm the org or re-organize
â€¢ Third, power through 'a support' â€“ by which the forces at play connect with each other, in a chain or conversely disconnect in contradiction
â€¢ Fourth, power through 'a strategy' â€“ which these forces are fixed and institutionalized
Indeed, there is a radical shift from the traditiona Marxist articulation of power relationship, and while I imagine most would place this typology/power-map far into the left of political discourse, there is something about this sensibility that resonates with some less progressive social theory. In another course I am taking that focuses on power relationships in urban spaces, we studied a political theory that claims that, in light of unequal access to power, all actors have some set of resources at their disposal. 'Resources' need not be limited to financial capital; instead, argues this theory, various individuals and interest groups have the ability to mobilize around some kind of specialized leverage that will give them agency in the power struggle for urban space. While I see the pessimism in discrediting this framework for its naive understanding of political power, it seems that perhaps both this urban theory and in some ways Foucault's conception of power suffer from an implicit lack of emphasis on the final 'stage' of power (in Foucault's map). I am undecided on this entirely, yet despite the value of Foucault's nuance to power discourse, I wonder if his arguments might be skewed to misrepresent the ultimate violence of this final stage.