An example of hupomnemata

This post seems to encapsulate some aspects of self-writing or hupomnemata in Foucault’s terms.

Foucault (1982, p. 791) appears to criticise Habermas suggesting that power comes from deep within society. Habermas contended that power was external to the public sphere, whereas notions of civil society as proposed by Dean and others side with Foucault positioning power as an integral part of civil society.

Now the content of the post is unremarkable and not especially exciting, but the author remarks that this is a post designed to help him think through some issues. It’s not the content, it’s the process. And when he has finished thinking through this issue he may actually remove parts of the post:

Please note: this post is under construction whilst I read the article below. This notice will be removed when it’s complete.

So the post is not static and may change later. And this takes place in public view.

It’s perhaps no accident then that the author is investigating blogging:

During 2008 I will write a thesis that aims to examine how employees use private blogs for personal emancipation. How will efforts toward personal emancipation show up in a blog? Is a struggle really indicative of efforts toward emancipation? How are the concepts of privacy and free speech related to such a notion?

6 Responses

  1. but how does emancipation of the self (by blogging, or any other means) carry through to actual, realizable emancipation? The relationship between blogging and emancipation has two fates: de jure and de facto. Prima facie both fates seem unattainable, however, de facto emancipation seems to be the only feasible outcome.

    Blogging can be problematic with employees blogging about their working environment: for example, with noted cases of employees being terminated.

    Bloggers have to accept certain terms and conditions when first creating a blog, and with this in mind, the only real connection with the self is the time spent actually blogging.

    Thee are just some thoughts, but I’d like to understand more about this.

  2. Nathan, you mention that bloggers “have to accept certain terms and conditions…” which, whilst understandable, assumes the sovereignty of institutions of commerce and the manner in which they use the resource hungry legal system to defeat their partners (employees) in a power relationship . Many of the examples of employees being “dooced” for blogging demonstrate employers acting out of fear rather than rationality and using a strategy of the threat of severe financial distress to curtail the free speech of their employees.

  3. On another note, the post to which the above post refers has now been completed; and thanks to your reference I am now in the process of reading The Political Mapping of Cyberspace and researching hupomnemata both of which I suspect may become an excellent vein of material for my thesis. Thanks, Peter.

  4. Dear Peter,

    I am interested in the original blog from 2008, but the link to it is broken. Is it still available?


  5. […] direction of my honours thesis. It introduced me Jeremy Crampton (@jeremycrampton), who, through a pingback on a post about Foucault’s theories on power relationships, alerted me to his book and […]

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