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Behold The Barbie: Education, Power And Symbology

2347 words - 9 pages

Embodied within the image of the ideal is the dynamism between empowerment and conformity. Within the sphere of conformity the masses become a "collective coercion of bodies" Thus, the state has possessed the mind in order that it might possess the body. Humans, therefore are willing agents, since the body has been shaped or as French philosopher Michel Foucault would explain "in the form of habits and behavior…the body [is] subjected to training" This training often happens without conscious knowledge, or even if there is knowledge of it, the practice remains because of its beneficial qualities of order to the larger society as a whole. Additionally, the more that the individual conforms unwittingly to the will of the state the more docile that they become due to the "formation of a relation that in the mechanism itself makes it more obedient as it becomes more useful, and conversely"
Speaking of power becomes difficult because there is the tendency to still create a duality in which power becomes the a negative force in a dualism of good versus evil. It is not that power is moral, but rather that it is prevalent—so much so, that there is no escaping it. This exposition, therefore, is a mere statement of where power lies (which often is in the hands of the state), but power will continue to exist, whether it remains with the state or not, power could be compared with the law of conservation of energy because power like energy, is never destroyed but rather continually transferred in an infinite loop in which a “binary…of the powerless and the powerful…struggles to gain more power as mapped out by movement from the former to the latter, resulting in a simple inversion of the previous formation.” Without any sort of recognition of the cyclical nature that power operates under the false conception of a culminating event resulting in a usurping of the structural hierarchy is simply not logical because, in the words of Irigaray, "to reverse the relation especially in the economy of sexuality, does not seem a desirable objective…would it not involve a new prison, a new cloister, built of their own accord? Power is inevitable and unavoidable, “power produces; it produces reality: it produces domains of objects and rituals of truth."
Discipline acts one of the primary forces that serves to construct our society and therefore the people within it to be most productive within that system, in other words, "discipline 'makes' individuals; it is the specific technique of a power that regards individuals both as objects and as instruments of its exercise…" A disciplined individual is the ultimate goal of the state so that the entire body that the state governs will be orderly, which is not a goal of maliciousness, but rather of practicality. Compliance is never complete, and there is, as Foucault discusses in his work History of Sexuality, some appeal in being “conscious of defying established power…[when] we know we are being subversive." Though...

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