De-Facing Power

In this major contribution to the power debate, Clarissa Rile Hayward challenges the prevailing view which treats power as something powerful people have and use. Rather than seeing it as having a ‘face’, she considers power as a complex network of social boundaries - norms, identities, institutions - which define both the field of action and the individual’s freedom within it, for the ‘powerful’ and ‘powerless’ alike. Hayward suggests that the critical analysis of power relations should focus on the ways these relationships affect people’s capacities to help shape the institutions and practices which govern their lives. Using a detailed comparative analysis of the relationships within two ethnically diverse educational settings - one in a low-income, predominantly African-American, urban school, the other in an affluent, predominantly white, suburban school - this book develops a compelling account of the concept of power in terms of networks of practices and relations.

• Original new study of the meaning and exercise of power - a central concept in political and social theory • Supports theory with detailed and lively studies of how power works in two schools - one affluent and predominantly white, the other poor and mainly African American • Will appeal to political scientists and sociologists interested in power, but also those working on educational theory


1. Introduction; 2. De-facing power; 3. Power and pedagogy; 4. ‘The environment’ and the North End community school; 5. The ‘world’ of Fair View; 6. Power and freedom.