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Free «Foucault and the Possibility of Freedom» Essay Sample

The sources selected for analysis discuss, evaluates and analyze the notion of freedom and responsibility in Foucault’s writings. The essay “The Great Demarcation” describes the relations between power and freedom and states that these are two important parts of effective politics and ethics. Freedom is complex idea which demands unique knowledge and expertise of a person to comprehend it. The problem of power and politics in a modern organization receives a great attention recent years influenced by changing cultural traditions and new management techniques. The distinction between power and politics provides a framework for developing leadership strategy given one's place in a situation, with or without power. Foucault claims: “A being is free to the extent that it exhibits a structure not of domination, but of the displacement of domination” (McCumber 144). Freedom can be seen as a bargain; people entrust political leaders in exchange for social service. When individuals meet expectations, their credibility and chances for promotion increase; when they do not, they risk their personal image and position. “Resistance” and “power relations” reflect the social order of modern society. “Power relations” mean certain direction and approach to exercise power and make decisions. In both cases, leadership skills needed to provide effective governance if a person to ensure political leadership and decision-making.


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The essay “Foucault’s Freud and Technologies of the self”.discusses the ‘power relations’ and criticizes Foucault for materialistic approach to power relations. The author claims that to the extent that political leaders tried in the past to distinguish between social resistance and power, they merely make a distinction between two kinds of power: formal and informal authority. In organizations, politics has usually been associated with informal authority, denoting the ability to gain and deploy power—that is, the power to influence and inspire a subordinate. Power and politics are saddled with expectations that constrain the exercise of leadership (Hutton 124).

The article “Interpreting Foucault” written by Racevskis criticizes Foucault’s idea of freedom and its relations to power. Consequently, equating freedom with informal power does little to help people develop strategies of power relations, whether with or without power, to tackle most important challenges. The dependency on power generated by distress has the special advantage of holding a social system together when other management tools fail to function properly. Politics allow the society to ensure adequate supply of human rights. The pattern of dependency itself evolved not to enable a given troop to achieve new adaptations (for example, to venture into new technological innovations or address new kinds of work structure), but to enable the crowd to function routinely within the ecological zone to which its particular set of social behaviors had adapted already. Power and politics are interlined as the main similarity between them a strong impact on staff and employee relationships and a possibility to change the course of actions. “The constitution of a knowledge was a process that comprised the simultaneous constitution of a knowing subject; he explained” (Racevskis 96).

The second source is the most appealing and interesting one because it gives a detailed account of all concepts and proposes analysis of ideas of freedom and power. Power relationships become a critical feature of modern society. “Resistance” such dependency discourages more adaptive social constructs and behavior. That is, the society is not designed to invent new norms or role structures, but to direct, defend, and maintain order within the established processes. In contrast to politics, power is connected with visibility. In this case, under visibility researchers imply innovation, critical skills, and making external relationships. So, power relations are achieved when behavior is made distinctive in certain kinds of ways. in its turn, leaders deals with development and maintenance of the order.


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