Power 1

12064177_10203561015745630_1036318068_nPicture 1: Register.

It’s a mechanism that makes us into the subjects and lets the teacher keep track of us to make sure we’re in class, doing the work. The discourse is that they have the control. The institution of the university defines us based on our blog posts. We also make these blog posts to be a certain type of student. To be deemed as a “good student.” (A discourse)

DSC_0002DSC_0001Picture 2: ID cards only


This regulates access to knowledge. It is saying only students or staff (members of the institution) can get in. This shows the power of the institution. This also helps them keep track of the people scanning their cards due to the trackers inside. We’re also not told to scan our cards we just go with what is ‘the norm.’ In agreement with Foucault the fact people will hold the door open without others having to scan their card (as is often the case) suggests that power relations are not achieving the goal of total domination.

DSC_0009 Picture 3: Leaflet givers

The people giving the leaflets out are judging the people passing and selecting them specifically based on their appearance, which reinforces Stuart Hall’s point that “Who says what, to whom, when, how, why, and to what affect” is not neutral or random. This also shows the interdependent quality of discourse because the person chosen to be given a leaflet has to then decide whether to accept it. (accept the discourse)

DSC_0006 Picture 4: University buildings

The university itself is a discourse of institutionalisation as you behave a certain way on the campus due to predetermined rules set by society. The surveillance the university has makes the students stick to the rules and they agree to these due to social conventions. Students accept they are lower then lecturers or office workers around the campus, we give them power over us by our own choice because of our need for knowledge and the traditions of discourse. The university mirrors a panopticon because everyone is constantly observing everyone else, and students are conscious of not only how they look but their grades and what other students grades are, theres a need to compete and by achieving a good grade, they go up in a hierarchy and are seen as more respectable.

DSC_0005 Picture 5: The bar

Even though this bar is part of the campus, and students use it all the time, it is a different discourse and environment to the university. You go there with a social discourse rather then a professional or educational one. Students and lecturers both use the space and the dynamics of their relationship changes. There is no longer a hierarchy, which contrasts Marx and Altusser’s ideas of power being one way and simplistic.

In terms of staff and customers, you, the customer are giving money to the institution yet they still have the control to provide you with the product, which mirrors the student-university relationship.

DSC_0003Picture 6: Volunteering leaflet.

People approach you with volunteering opportunities, and ask “Do you want to?..” which makes you look at yourself. This surveillance was experimented with in our workshop , so our experience of being approached with these questions, shows it’s real life application. You are made into a subject, questioning if you are a good person.

DSC_0012#1Picture 7: Mobile phones

When checking social medias, we are looking and surveying other people and their lives, but this is also us surveying ourselves. The interdependent power relation is also evident in social media such as Facebook as they keep track of our online presence by stating what time we were last logged in. People censor what they post and say on social media so we never know if they are authentic or not. They produce a desired reality of themselves and how they wish to be viewed. The spectacle of Facebook causes judgemental reactions and is a mechanism that turns its users into subjects that are constantly looking at themselves and what other people think of them. We also take selfies on our mobile phones and try to display the best version of ourself using lighting, angles, and filters but this questions the authenticity of the image. Make-up is also used as a metaphor to appear beautiful but this is made up and questions the reality of the situation. Due to the fact that we are aware that posts on Facebook and selfies are manipulated, we know the truth of the discourse.

Work done by Laura Mobbs, Caitlin Young, Konrad Maselko and I.


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