Engaging Power: An Illustration of Cohesion

I wrote a series of four pieces recently, exploring gang violence, but really a perspective on the power structures, and mechanisms of coherence, that underly community (and mechanisms for diffusing, or countering, toxic culture). It is all fairly early stage, work, part of my own articulation of understanding really, but i have been meaning to add some illustrations, providing an overview of the core concepts from the last pieces.

Engaging Power

The original articles considered how gangs form, looking at their rituals, internally validated narratives (the story of ‘us’ versus ‘them’), emergence of social hierarchy, and the ways that the oppositional power of ‘others’ (other gangs, wider society, and law enforcement) reinforce and validate internal coherence.

As with any social structure, i ultimately took the view that the powers that hold it together are ultimately common: the same structures of power apply, be it a church, or a far right gang. Broadly, It’s the construction of shared narratives, which reinforce, or match, individual worldview.

Engaging Power: Diffusion

In the final part of the series, i considered how we can look at e.g. violent gangs and seek to engage to diffuse power, rather than simply seek to dominate it, but to do so requires a humility to tolerate diverse narratives: we cannot expect to form globally coherent and identical views of the world, and nor should we. Our diversity is a strength. The ‘win’, if that is what we can call it, is to diffuse, not to dominate, the toxic expression. We do not need saints, so much as a lack of serious sinners.

I found the original pieces hard to write, in fact, quite exhausting to think through, and the new illustration is far from complete: i suspect i will revisit this in time, to rework, or break it down, further. I quite fancy trying to illustrate the full cycle of formation and disruption.

In case it wasn’t clear, these pieces are of relevance not specifically around gangs, but in any Organisational context: it’s a story equally applicable to change as it is to violence. Indeed, all change is, to an extent, violence against a shared and prevalent narrative of ‘now’.

Advertisements

About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Gangs and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Engaging Power: An Illustration of Cohesion

  1. Hi, Julian. A friend of work recommended one of your articles a couple months ago and I¹ve been subscribed to your posts ever since. I think you¹d find the Bahá¹í Faith fascinating, if you¹ve never looked into it. I don¹t normally reach out to people in this way, but your point of view and deep thinking reminds me of my Bahá¹í friends, and the religion has wonderful teachings about society and the future organization of the world. The reference library has many of our sacred writings available to search. https://www.bahai.org/library. After the passing of ŒAbdu¹l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi, the Bahá¹í world now turns to the Universal House of Justice for guidance, and I think you¹ll find it quite interesting!

    Enjoy, Tammy

    From: Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog Reply-To: Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 7:27 AM To: Tammy Rhoades Subject: [New post] Engaging Power: An Illustration of Cohesion

    WordPress.com julianstodd posted: “I wrote a series of four pieces recently, exploring gang violence, but really a perspective on the power structures, and mechanisms of coherence, that underly community (and mechanisms for diffusing, or countering, toxic culture). It is all fairly early s”

  2. I meant a friend AT work recommended a post on instructional design that you wrote. 🙂

    On Wed, Sep 12, 2018 at 11:22 AM Tammy Rhoades-Baldwin wrote:

    > Hi, Julian. A friend of work recommended one of your articles a couple > months ago and I’ve been subscribed to your posts ever since. I think you’d > find the Bahá’í Faith fascinating, if you’ve never looked into it. I don’t > normally reach out to people in this way, but your point of view and deep > thinking reminds me of my Bahá’í friends, and the religion has wonderful > teachings about society and the future organization of the world. The > reference library has many of our sacred writings available to search. > https://www.bahai.org/library. After the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha and > Shoghi Effendi, the Bahá’í world now turns to the Universal House of > Justice for guidance, and I think you’ll find it quite interesting! > > Enjoy, > Tammy > > From: Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog > Reply-To: Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog comment+egx3vlsp-4ntgevj6n5taa5@comment.wordpress.com> > Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 7:27 AM > To: Tammy Rhoades > Subject: [New post] Engaging Power: An Illustration of Cohesion > > julianstodd posted: “I wrote a series of four pieces recently, exploring > gang violence, but really a perspective on the power structures, and > mechanisms of coherence, that underly community (and mechanisms for > diffusing, or countering, toxic culture). It is all fairly early s” >

  3. Pingback: Sanctioned Subversion and Cultural Graffiti | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  4. Pingback: ‘The Landscape of Stories’: A Social Leadership ‘Storytelling’ Certification | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  5. Pingback: 12 Modes of Innovation | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.