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The complexity of social systems: could hegemony emerge from the micro-politics of the individual?

Kreps, DGP 2015, 'The complexity of social systems: could hegemony emerge from the micro-politics of the individual?' , in: Gramsci and Foucault: A Reassessment , Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, United Kingdom, pp. 171-181.

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What if there were a suitably Gramscian totalizing – and scientific– approach to understanding social systems, which nonetheless escaped all the reductionist, scientistic pitfalls a deconstructive and poststructuralist Foucauldian would be wont to point out? What if there was a science that could speak coherently about the macro-level of social structures without denying the radical uncertainty at the micro-level of the individual, a theory which supported the tension between radical contingency and free choice at the level of the individual yet was able simultaneously to discern and predict robust and reliable patterns at the level of the collective? What if, in a non-mystical sense, the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts – that a complex whole can ‘exhibit collective properties, “emergent” features that are lawful in their own right’? (Kaufmann 1995: viii). Would this science of complexity not grant us a context in which the ideas of both Foucault and Gramsci could sit, no longer conflicting because both contextualized by their new situation? Could not Foucault’s micro-politics in society indeed add up to and constitute the central figure of a State that exhibited patterns not dissimilar to Gramsci’s descriptions of the hegemonic reach of that centre out into the minutiae of social relations?

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Kreps, DGP
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Business and Management Research Centre
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 978-1-4094-6086-2
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr DGP Kreps
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2015 12:30
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 00:46

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