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Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence & Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley

by John Gaventa

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1622155,163 (3.86)None
Explains to outsiders the conflicts between the financial interests of the coal and land companies, and the moral rights of the vulnerable mountaineers.
  1. 00
    Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say by Douglas Rushkoff (elenchus)
    elenchus: Gaventa proposes three dimensions of power, from the familiar physical force of the 1st dimension, to the more subtle forms of the 2nd and 3rd dimensions. He supports his argument with reference to a case study of an Appalachian mining town, particularly helpful in reference to the 2nd & 3rd dimensions. Rushkoff illustrates further the 2nd & 3rd dimensions in a consumer-centric set of examples, though apparently without being aware of the link. Both are key conceptions in the analysis of power, and Gaventa's is itself a key work in the field.… (more)

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"Rebellion, to be successful, must both confront power and overcome the accumulated effects of powerlessness."

Yeah. That.

This book doesn't solve anything -- the quote above might be the closest you get to a "what next" payoff -- but that's not the point. The point is that people who are poor and uneducated are not stupid or weak. It really tried to set out what you know is true if you work in poverty realms at all -- that each aspect of poverty and powerlessness reinforces every other aspect. And that for the powerful to maintain power takes not a lot of effort.

It's not just the powerful setting the agenda. It's them writing the language the agenda's written in. ( )
1 vote mirnanda | Dec 27, 2019 |
A fascinating study of the relationship between local values and political action in Kentucky coal country. ( )
  Fledgist | Sep 23, 2006 |
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Explains to outsiders the conflicts between the financial interests of the coal and land companies, and the moral rights of the vulnerable mountaineers.

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