Wednesday, May 14, 2008

power and legitimacy

Power and legitimacy have such different definitions depending on the discipline! I had to disabuse myself of the political science definitions when I went to law school, and oddly went back to some Foucaultian concepts I learned in lit crit when I was doing CRT and learning about Derrick Bell's interest-convergence theories. I still have to struggle with Foucault now that I do law and society/organizations and the law work, but they still mean totally different things vis-a-vis organizations. And legitimacy takes on a new meaning with the New Institutional literature.

All to say, hell yeah, I'm interdisciplinary. Perhaps a little too much.

At the end of the day, you have to acknowledge all, and pick one--but you have to be aware of all the different definitions, and explain why it is you're going with a particular discipline/definition. I hate, hate writing with an eye towards the job talk, but it is like hating the other inevitabilities of life, like traffic.

And yes, I am writing about power and legitimacy right now. I can't spend all of my life on structure/culture/agency. Although, I suppose I could. But, you know, no.


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