Read Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley by John Gaventa Free Online
Book Title: Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley|
Loaded: 2296 times
Reader ratings: 3.6
The author of the book: John Gaventa
Edition: University of Illinois Press
Date of issue: May 1st 1982
ISBN 13: 9780252009853
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.53 MB
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books:
I first read Gaventa's Power and Powerlessness for an undergraduate political theory class. It left a mark on me then, as I took this class during the 2008 Presidential campaign. The book spoke to a question that plagued me during that time, namely why it seems that so many people vote and act in a manner that appears contrary to their interests.
Now, in the 2012 campaign season, I decided to reread the book. Gaventa touches on that question in it, but he hardly limits his analysis to that. The focus of his book is the effect power has on those who don't have it. He breaks his analysis down into three dimensions of power: the first is direct bargaining and participation, the second is the exclusion of the powerless from that bargaining process and/or agenda-setting by the powerful, and the third is the internalization of the ideals, values, and preferences of the dominant by the dominated. All of this is enveloped in a case study of a Central Appalachian coal mining community.
The analysis is compelling. Power is portrayed here as a shaping force, capable of producing its own legitimacy - whether it be wielded by mine owners, absentee corporations, local elites, or even union bosses. Gaventa goes to great lengths to demonstrate how the miners' acceptance of their miserable lot is not a natural or inevitable state of affairs, but rather one imposed and maintained through the operation of power.
To quote some of his conclusion: "...the total impact of a power relationship is more than the sum of its parts. Power serves to create power. Powerlessness serves to re-enforce powerlessness. Power relationships, once established, are self-sustaining."
This is a compelling book with analysis which remains relevant 30 years after it was first written. The particular circumstances of the miners may have changed since then, but the overall points being made about power, powerlessness, and the maintenance of inequality is a lesson for us still.
Download Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley ERUB
Download Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley DOC
Download Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley TXT