Domination and the Arts of Resistance

Domination and the Arts of Resistance : Hidden Transcripts

4.26 (563 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"A splendid study, surely one of the most important that has appeared on the whole matter of power and resistance."-Natalie Zemon Davis

Confrontations between the powerless and powerful are laden with deception-the powerless feign deference and the powerful subtly assert their mastery. Peasants, serfs, untouchables, slaves, laborers, 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, renowned social scientist James C. Scott offers a penetrating 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, Scott examines the many guises this interaction has taken throughout history and the tensions and contradictions it reflects.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 269 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 18mm | 399g
  • United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • bibliography, index
  • 0300056699
  • 9780300056693
  • 61,634

Back cover copy

The purpose of this book is to suggest how we might more successfully read, interpret, and understand the often fugitive political conduct of subordinate groups. A comparison of the hidden transcript of the weak with that of the powerful and of both hidden transcripts to the public transcript of power relations offers a substantially new way of understanding resistance to domination.
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Table of contents

Behind the official story; domination, acting and fantasy; the public transcript as a respectable performance; false-consciousness or laying it on thick; making social space for a dissident subculture; voice under domination - the arts of political disguise; the infrapolitics of subordinate groups; a saturnalia of power - the first public declaration of the hidden transcript.
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Review quote

"Scott argues his thesis uncompromisingly and with relentless power. From his vantage point it is easy to see through many standard illusions of social science. . . . Scott's argument is all the more persuasive for the wealth of cases he brings under his magnifying-glass and for the vibrancy and liveliness of his style. One is tempted to say that his own discourse is a revelation of that transcript normally hidden by the 'official' discourse of sociology and an example of how rich and fascinating such hidden transcripts can be by comparison with the rhetoric of pretence."-Zygmunt Bauman, Times Literary Supplement


"Likely to become a classic work of theory in the social sciences and history. Its arguments are original, subtle, clear, and accessible to readers without theoretical inclinations."-John D. Rogers, The Journal of Asian Studies


"This book offers a penetrating discussion of both the public roles played by the powerful and powerless and the mocking, vengeful tone they display offstage-what is termed 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 tension and contradictions it reflects. This work will revise our understanding of subordination, resistance, hegemony, folk culture, and the ideas behind revolt."-International Journal of Psychology


"Scott elaborates his argument with a dazzling array of illustrations drawn from centuries of history and all four corners of the earth. . . . Intellectually convincing and also very moving-not something one expects to find in an academic treatise."-Paul Littlewood, Sociology


Received an Honorable Mention for the 1990 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division Award in the History, Government, and Political Science category given by the AAP


"Drawing on a dazzling array of source material, the book is a wonderful read as well as a provocative discussion of a global phenomenon of great importance. It seems destined to throw out a major challenge to the existing literature on power and domination, and to set in train a new school of research."-Anthony Reid, Australian National University


"An engaging as well as intellectually provocative book, this will be a major theoretical contribution to debates about power."-Theda Skocpol, Harvard University


"A splendid study, surely one of the most important that has appeared on the whole matter of power and resistance. It is rich in apt evidence and extremely effective and original."-Natalie Zemon Davis, Princeton University
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Rating details

563 ratings
4.26 out of 5 stars
5 46% (260)
4 38% (214)
3 12% (68)
2 3% (15)
1 1% (6)
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