Michel Foucault was a French philosopher or a historian of systems of thought. His theories addressed the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions. Through his impressive career Foucault became known for his many demonstrative arguments that power depends not on material relations or authority but instead primarily on discursive networks. The sole purpose of the present research paper is to evaluate the power relations which exist within the hierarchies and the workers. The Foucauldian perspective plays an important part in terms of an understanding of power, despite the fact that it is very different to fully comprehend the meanings behind Foucault’s works. (McHoul and Grace, 1993, viii) A Dictionary of Political Thought (1983) commented on power as:
The ability to achieve whatever effect is desired, whether or not in the
face of opposition. Power is a matter of degree: it can be conferred,
delegated, shared and limited…power may be exercised through influence
or through control…power is an undisputable fact… (Scruton, 1983)
Power varies according to the individual’s wants and requirements for it. It can be exercised either by influence or by control. It exists in multifarious forms. Power is totally dependent on relationships.
Power is neither given, nor exchanged, nor recovered, but rather
exercised and it only exists in action. (Foucault 1980, p89)
Foucault believed that power is ‘web like’ solely through relationships and could not be possessed by an individual. Power is reliant on the existence of relationships and cannot exist in isolation (Foucault, 1977). Power is not a capacity or a ‘battery’ that can be strapped on or taken off, according to Foucault (1978).
Power is everywhere; not because it embraces everything,
but because it comes from everywhere. (Foucault, 1978, p93)
Foucault is of the conviction that the sole intention that exists within individuals is the motive of power. Power is the ultimate, to be much desired and highly sought after (Foucault, 1977). Foucault even believed that power should not be described in a negative way, by using words such as ‘it represses’ or ‘it excludes’ but rather power should be viewed in an optimistic light in that power produces reality or the truth (Foucault, 1977).
According to Foucault, these points of resistance are omnipresent in the power network. Foucault is of the opinion that power is not something that is acquired, seized, or shared, something that one holds on to or allows to slip away (Foucault, 1980).
From a Foucauldian perspective, it is believed that power flows in all directions – up and down as well as sideways - making it truly multidirectional (Foucault, 1980). In this sense,...