Social Theory Research Paper

Words: 1977
Pages: 8

Social theory essay 2

Me: Today on the radio show, we have three very special guests with us: Marshall Sahlins, Pierre Bourdieu, and Michele Foucault. To start the show I will ask each one of you questions about some of the writings you have done. Then for the second part of the show, I would like you to talk to each other and ask any questions that you might have for one another. Lastly, I will tell the audience how each of you have contributed to our understanding of the relationship between culture, knowledge and power, as well as whose work I find most interesting/important and why.

Therefore, let us begin, I would like to start with Sahlins. Sahlins can
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Therefore, if you wanted to understand anything about this case you would need to first know the history of the American culture. Me: I find that very interesting, and I would like to ask you: what do you think is the connection between culture, power and knowledge? Sahlins: I would have to say based off my research I have concluded that when it comes power that culture has to shape people's perceptions and actions. Economic life is produced through cultural rules that govern the production and distribution of goods, and therefore any understanding of economic life has to start from cultural principles. Culture maps out our politics, family. Power to me is an important factor that plays a role in producing certain outcomes. The way cultural order is disputed, it can produce certain effects on power. In the Elian case, it could have been a different outcome if his case was not so known and famous. It changed the outcome of the 2000 presidential election because the raid on April 22, 2000, to take custody of Elian González was emotional and dramatic—and so was its impact on Cuban-American voters. (The Iconization of Elian Gonzalez)

ME: those are very interesting points, next, I want to ask Pierre Bourdieu a question. Bourdieu, what is it in your book “The Forms of
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In my many years of study I have examined how changing power relations affected punishment. I began by analyzing the situation before the eighteenth century, when public execution and corporal punishment were key punishments, and torture was part of most criminal investigations. Punishment was ceremonial and directed at the prisoner's body (Foucault 36). It was a ritual in which the audience was important. Public execution reestablished the authority and power of the King. Popular literature reported the details of executions, and the public was heavily involved in them. The eighteenth century saw various calls for reform of punishment. The reformers were not motivated by a concern for the welfare of prisoners, but rather by their own economic interests. Me: that’s a very interesting assumption you came up with by studying the penal system. From this what did you learn about the connections between culture power and knowledge? Foucault: Well from my many years on researching I have come to find that that there are laws and these laws are new set of knowledge. Knowledge is always an exercise of power and power always a function of knowledge. I would argue that discipline is a mechanism of power that regulates the thought and behavior of social actors through subtle means (Foucault23). In contrast to the brute,