confession and control

confession and control

Norman Fairclough, in his fascinating study "Language and Power", says that because institutions have been forced to use less direct ways of securing and exercising power, that many institutions have launched a counter-offensive. He suggests that providing counseling is just one of these counter-offensives which has colonized workplaces, schools, etc.:
This is superficially indicative of an unwonted sensitivity to individual needs and problems. But it seems in some cases at least to have been turned into a means to greater institutional control of people through exposing aspects of their 'private' lives to unprecedented institutional probing. The apparent sensitivity to individuals is a concession by power-holders to the strength of the (relatively) unpowerful; the containment of counselling is their counter-offensive.
Understand that this happens every day! Being honest, authentic and confessing your struggles is an assumed and expected part of many church cultures. If you don't share your struggles you aren't trusted. But if you share your struggles the information may very well be used against you immediately or eventually. I am assembling my cartoons that relate to homosexuality, such as the one above, into a book. But I already published a book of some of my cartoons! amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.de.

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