Theorising power as a capacity for action and social participation

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Power is often associated with struggles for power, and therefore with fair competition at best, domination at worst. However, since the ways we think and talk about a subject influence the ways we act in relation to it, it is important to recognize how this conceptualization of power blurs an important mutualistic dimension of power that plays an important role in the conduct of our everyday lives, and needs to play an even more significant role in a still more complex and globalized world. Starting from a notion of power as a capacity for action, this paper attempts to outline an alternative vocabulary for thinking about power. The vocabulary is not meant to replace, but rather situate the adversarial conception of power within a broader framework, encompassing both ‘power over’ and ‘power with’ relations. The framework draws on different inspirations but mainly on German–Danish critical psychology
Translated title of the contributionAt begrebssætte magt som handleevne
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDialogue and debate in the making of theoretical psychology
EditorsJames Cresswell, Andrés Haye, Antonia Larraín
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationConcord
PublisherCaptus Press
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)9781553223283
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event15th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology: Dialogue and Debate in the making of Theoretical Psychology - Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile & Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago, Chile
Duration: 3 May 20137 May 2013


Conference15th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology
LocationPontificia Universidad Católica de Chile & Universidad Alberto Hurtado
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