This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Foucault's Power And Language: Bengali Essay

1772 words - 7 pages

Foucault in Power/Knowledge (1980), describes knowledge as being conjunction of power relations and information seeking which he terms as ‘power/knowledge’. He states that ‘it is not possible for power to be excercised without knowledge, it is impossible for knowledge not to engender power.’ Foucault here emphasizes that knowledge is not dispassionate, rather an integral part of struggles over power. It also draws the attention to the way that, in producing knowledge, one is also making claim for power. Hence, for Foucault it was more accurate to use the newly formed compound ‘power/knowledge’ to emphasise the way that these two elements depend on one another. “Thus, where there are imbalances of power relations between groups of people or between institutions/states, there will be a production of knowledge. Because of the institutional imbalance in power relations between men and women in Western countries, Foucault would argue, information is produced about women; thus we find many books in libraries about women but few about men, and similarly many about working class but few about the middle classes.”
Now, we should examine the role of language in the process of knowledge formation. For illustration purpose we would refer to examples from the status of the Bangla language in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) during the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial era. The ‘knowledge’, most of us will agree, in Foucaultian sense is a tool for creating a discourse in terms of power and hegemony. This knowledge is created in order to influence ‘others’ in an influencing way. What can be a better tool than the language itself in creating a particular knowledge? In fact it is the language which asserts the authenticity and superiority to a particular knowledge and often it is the language of the influencing class that is accepted in the knowledge formation process. The language as such should be highly prestigious yet unattainable by the basic strata of the society in order to put absolute authority in the hands of a few. Religious texts and books of laws throughout the ages across cultures are created in this manner along with other fields of knowledge. Again the created knowledge must not only be in the language inaccessible to the ground level, also at the same time should be institutionalized in order to create the power relationship working in harmony. The power relation puts an individual in a position which is attainable going through or conforming to the norms set by the influencing group. During the first census carried out in Bengal in 1872, Muslims formed 48 percent of the population of the province. Most of them were working class who were referred to as atrap (ajlaf) in UP and Bihar. At the other end of the social hierarchy were the Muslim aristocrats and gentlemen called the ashraf. The ashraf often spoke Urdu, and official works during the period were carried on in Persian. In fact, so strong was the feeling that the Bengali culture was...

Find Another Essay On Foucault's Power and Language: Bengali

Language, Power and Discourse of Sexuality: The case of Governor McGreevey

1513 words - 6 pages Language, Power and Discourse of Sexuality Foucault asks "What are the links between these discourses, these effects of power, and the pleasures that were invested by them?" (Foucault, 11). In the case of New Jersey governor it seems clear that power, language and pleasure were very much related in his speech on August 13, 2004, in which he announced his resignation, that he had had an affair with a man, and that he was a "gay American." A

The Power of Beastly, Human, and Godly Language in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex

700 words - 3 pages , and Oedipus nurse the idea of the indescribable powers of beastly, human, and godly languages. The first and one of the most influential displays of the power of language comes from the plethora of riddles and oracles within the drama. The Sphinx that Oedipus encounters at the crossroads to Thebes, issues him a riddle that required not only a mastery of language, but also a certain measure of divine intervention from the unseen gods. The

How does Mark Antony use language in 3.2 to take power away from Brutus and the other conspirators?

1067 words - 4 pages How does Mark Antony use language in 3.2 to take power away from Brutus and the other conspirators?During Antony's speech he uses language as his main weapon to take power away from Brutus and the conspirators so he can avenge his dead friend Caesar, the leader of Rome; however I believe there may well be an underlying political motive for gaining power off the conspirators. He clearly uses great skill as at the start of the speech he has to

Hypnotic Language and Its Power

2594 words - 10 pages Hypnotic Language and Its PowerThe Magic Carpet of LanguageWhile the material herein addresses hypnotic language, we must first understand that all communication invites the receiver into a trance. Trance, in this text, refers to a narrowing of awareness, attending to a small category of stimuli excluding all other stimuli that differ. Trance and hypnosis will be used interchangeably. Communication occurs through any one of the five senses alone

Using the Power of both Phonics and Whole Language

3366 words - 13 pages Whichever way you learned to read, chances are you never knew what the terms “phonics” or “whole language” meant. However, these are the terms that are at opposite ends of an on-going debate over the best way to teach children how to read. “Simply stated, supporters of the whole language approach think children's literature, writing activities, and communication activities can be used across the curriculum to teach reading; backers of phonics

"The Siege" by Helen Dunmore: How does Dunmore effectively dramatize the power of cold and starvation in pg 36-39? You should closely analyze the use of language and techniques

553 words - 2 pages Dunmore uses several effective methods to dramatize the power of cold and starvation. Some of them are more effective than others. In my opinion the most effective method she uses is the personification of cold and hunger into people.She personifies cold and hunger and makes them generals. She gives them these high titles in the military hierarchy to emphasize the effect they can have on the people. This personification forces the reader to

The Real Bengal: A Historical Discussion of Identity

1500 words - 6 pages eastern side was more highly populated, the western side too control of political power. Those in political power made am attempt to make Urdu the national language of Pakistan, even though Bengali was the most widely spread language. A fear of broke social subjugation as a result of this and was met with protests. On February 21, several students of Dhaka University were killed while they were protesting the establishment of Urdu as the Pakistani

Butler and Foucault: A Revision of Power

1430 words - 6 pages Both Foucault and Butler claim that sexuality is not what makes us who we are, that it is simply a social construct. In addition, they both believe that by submitting to the mechanisms of power and categorizing ourselves sexually, we are giving impetus to our own subjugation. While they hold similar beliefs in many ways, and much of Judith Butler's work is building upon work done by Michael Foucault, Judith Butler does diverge from Foucault's

Michel Foucault

771 words - 3 pages classify people (sometimes permanently) with some socially charged labels: criminals, terrorists, communists, gays, insane, etc. This is how power is practiced in this discourse. Therefore language is an exchange of power between a label and the labeled (like signifier and signified).However, unlike Saussure's structuralism, there is no universal "truth" or model for language; in Foucault's point of view, the power relation in these different discourses

Conflict: Bangladesh Liberation War

607 words - 2 pages The Bangladesh Liberation War was a revolutionary war of freedom in South Asia throughout 1971 which built the sovereign republic of Bangladesh. The war set East Pakistan (later joined by India) against West Pakistan, and kept going for over a term of nine months. It saw expansive scale monstrosities, the mass migration of 10 million outcasts and the relocation of 30 million people. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a Bengali patriot legislator and

The Name Sake

938 words - 4 pages goes to great lengths to change it, although still maintaining part of his Bengali and Russian roots. Also seen is the distaste for his culture not wanting to keep in touch with the Bengali language trying to assimilate to American culture, which can be seen throughout the novel as conflicting with one another. First, each nationality determines the name of their child in a different way. This first passage shows opens up light on this topic

Similar Essays

Foucault's Discipline And Punish And Power And Sex

1855 words - 7 pages Foucault's "Discipline and Punish" and "Power and Sex" Every great architect is - necessarily - a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age- Frank Lloyd Wright Darkness is meant to conceal, light is meant to expose, and there is power intrinsically imbued in both of these. Murderers hide in the dark, waiting for their victims, and the atrocities of different countries are hidden in history

Power And Authority Shape Spoken Language

1723 words - 7 pages . Nevertheless, both transcripts show authoritative figures and interview type situations. Within both transcripts there are dominant speakers. Transcript one (job interview), shows that dominant speaker is Claude as he exerts the most power by using language techniques to assure Ruth will not overpower him. As well as power in balance the male against female situation could also show males to be a stronger, more dominant figure. Methods such as

Gramsci's And Foucault's Notions Of Power

1849 words - 8 pages Power is a concept that is at the core of issues regarding social stratification (Scott & Marshall, 2009). Therefore there have been many debates regarding what this concept of power actually means. For Gramsci, power needs to be considered legitimate by those who are subject to it, and the legitimacy of power is gained through the manipulation of social norms (Scott & Marshall, 2009). This manipulation of social norms, links to Gramsci’s notion

Jamaican Patois And The Power Of Language In Reggae Music

4923 words - 20 pages Jamaican Patois and the Power of Language in Reggae Music Introduction Creole languages are found all over the world on every continent. When two or more languages come into contact to form a new language a Creole language is born. Some type of human "upheaval" that forces people to find a way to communicate, without using their own languages, stimulates the creation of a Creole language. In the case of Creole languages in the Caribbean