Resistance as hidden power

Art work by Raul Leon Just like dominating power can be exercised in hidden ways, so can strategies of opposition and resistance. In his book Domination and the Arts of Resistance, James Scott talks about resistance from dominated groups who voice their resistance in ‘cryptic and opaque’ ways – often for their own safety.  Scott details how people hide their actions of resistance, disguising themselves behind masks of anonymity, euphemisms, or muttered grumbling as they complain or twist dominant meaning.  Framing issues a certain way, resistance can be a powerful means for people to ‘manipulate a realm of ordinary activity that is open to them and code it with political meaning’. Read more in the section of this site on other forms of power.

See especially chaper six, ‘Voice under domination: The arts of political disguise’,  in Scott, James, C. (1990) Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts, Yale University Press, New Haven.

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