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Escaping from Intrinsically Unstable and Untrustful Relations: Implications of a Constitutive Ontology for Responding to Issues of Power

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Abstract:

This article deals with issue of power. It discusses Bateson's and Maturana's writing relating to power in order to develop a more embodied biological response. It claims that Bateson's view that power is a ‘false’ epistemology and his focus on mutual causation as an alternative to linear causal views provides a challenge to more common sense approaches to power but is blind to individual agency. It considers how Maturana's discussion of issues of social authority and abuse might be developed to provide a constitutive approach to dealing with problems we experience as stemming from inequality of power in organisations. This approach leads to a focus on responsibility, re?ection, recognition of the humanity of others and stresses the key place of emotion and ethics.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Professor of Social Work Research, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE, UK ., Email: abilson@uclan.ac.uk

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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