Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts

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Yale University Press, 1990 - Political Science - 251 pages
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Confrontations between the powerless and the powerful are laden with deception - the powerless feign deference and the powerful subtly assert their mastery. Peasants, serfs, untouchables, slaves, labourers, and prisoners are not free to speak their minds in the presence of power. These subordinate groups instead create a secret discourse that represents a critique of power spoken behind the backs of the dominant. At the same time, the powerful also develop a private dialogue about practices and goals of their rule that cannot be openly avowed. In this book, the author, a social scientist, offers a discussion both of the public roles played by the powerful and powerless and the mocking, vengeful tone they display off stage - what he terms their public and hidden transcripts. Using examples from the literature, history, and politics of cultures around the world, the author examines the many guises this interaction has taken throughout history and the tensions and contradictions it reflects.
 

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Contents

Behind the Official Story i
11
Domination Acting and Fantasy
17
The Public Transcript as a Respectable Performance
45
False Consciousness or Laying It on Thick?
70
Making Social Space for a Dissident Subculture
108
The Arts of Political Disguise
136
The Infrapolitics of Subordinate Groups
183
The First Public Declaration of
202
Bibliography
229
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About the author (1990)

James C. Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science, professor of anthropology, and codirector of the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University. His books include "Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed"; "Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts"; and most recently, "The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia". He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a mediocre part-time farmer and beekeeper.

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