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Power (Readings in Social and Political Theory, No. 4)

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814750315
ISBN-10: 0814750311
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steven Lukes is a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford and the author of several books, including Power: A Radical View.

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Product Details

  • Series: Readings in Social & Political Theory
  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (November 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814750311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814750315
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Let me be clear, when I say "great primer" I mean for graduate students. This would not be an "easy" read (and maybe not even useful for) undergraduates. I read this book in the context of a seminar on "Power and Empowerment" led by Dr. M. Feldman at the University of California in Irvine, with 20+ students to think about the ideas.

I'm reviewing this book because I was shocked to see it only had three stars!

On to the the review:
Power is a rich theoretical concept.

Lukes does an masterful job by providing us (the readers) with a rich historical trajectory of the intellectual understanding of the term, "Power". Like anything else, terms and ideas have historical and sociomaterial birthplaces, and by reading Luke's editorial the reader is exposed to 10-15 different nuanced perspectives of the term power. [I don't have the book with me so I can't double check the exact number of entries]. Additionally, the reader is given a synthesized introduction to the arguments of power, and how those arguments have shifted and developed over time.

If a reader is looking to deeply and critically understand notions of power, this book is such a great starting place as Lukes has synthesized and produced a fine anthology of the notions of power, and with his introduction gives us (the reader) a road map to understand it! Now, if your interested in more of the "newer" concepts of power, such as ANT, Structuration Theory, Sociomateriality, and so on, then no this book isn't for you, dear reader, maybe. Unless, you want to understand where their *new and shiny* arguments are coming from, then perhaps this book is worth your read.

Also, no matter what your theoretical persuasion, Luke's got something that will be relevant for you.
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This book is too old and archaic. I was very disappointed in this book because most of the contributions were more than 30 years ago. One of the theorists even includes a theory from Isaac Newton. Isn't Newtonian physics behind the times?
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