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Dispersed resistance: unpacking the spectrum and properties of glaring and everyday resistance

Journal article
Authors Mona Lilja
Stellan Vinthagen
Published in Journal of Political Power
Volume 11
Issue 2
Pages 211-229
ISSN 2158-379X
Publication year 2018
Published at School of Global Studies, Peace and Development Research
Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 211-229
Language en
Subject categories Other Social Sciences


ABSTRACT Revisiting James C. Scott’s classification of forms of resistance, this paper argues that (hidden, subtle) everyday resistance is only one of many types of small-scale or individual resistance practices. We propose the concept of ‘dispersed resistance’, which might be ‘everyday’ and subtle, or loud and extraordinary. In addition, draw- ing on Foucault’s works, we suggest at least two ways of concep- tualizing dispersed resistance: as ‘productive’ resistance (related to disciplinary power and biopower) and ‘counter-repressive’ resis- tance (related to repressive and sovereign power). Finally, since power-relations are often composed by an assemblage of repres- sion, discipline and biopower, resistance practices assemble too.

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