Theorizing Power and the Practice of Theory

Rasmus Rasmussen Harsbo & Szabina Erika Zsoldos

Student thesis: Subject Module Project


This paper investigates conceptualizations of the notions of power, ideology, meaning making and subjectification by comparing the different theoretical positions of a selection of scholars on the functions and relevance of the notions in question. The project begins with providing an introduction to Foucauldian disciplines in order to contextualize the workings of power in modernity. In order to introduce the functions of ideology to the modern workings of power, an Althusserian account of the notion is given. This is followed by exploring the works of Louise Tranekjær and Margaret Wetherell on the connection between power and speech in order to see the workings of the key notions on a micro level as well as to show how they appropriate the previously introduced theory established by Foucault. Furthermore, with the last scholar in the selection, Slavoj Žižek, the project inquires into a Lacanian reading of Althusser, which sets the stage for a discussion concerning the introduced theories’ analytical as well as social and political implications. By mapping the exact ways the introduced theoretical positions deviate from one another the paper positions the notion of ideology at the centre of the workings of power, subjectification and meaning making and outlines possible explanations and different solutions for social and political issues accompanying these notions.

EducationsCultural encounter studies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Bachelor
Publication date18 Dec 2016
Number of pages40
SupervisorsHelle Bach Riis