Critique as locus or modus? Power and resistance in the world of work

  • Torben Bech Dyrberg Department of Social Sciences and Business. Roskilde University
  • Peter Triantafillou Department of Social Sciences and Business Roskilde University
Keywords: Pragmatic sociology, Foucauldian genealogy, critical theory, managerial power, neoliberalism,


How and from where can power be criticized and resisted? The advent of new managerial forms of power has brought the question once more to the fore. One of the salient issues is whether the ubiquity and apparent omnipotence of contemporary forms of managerial power renders critique and resistance difficult. This article compares the critical potential of French pragmatic sociology and Foucauldian-inspired genealogy. We argue that both approaches offer viable critiques of contemporary forms of power. Yet, whereas the critique of pragmatic sociology hinges on the position (locus) of those who exercise critique and/or resist, genealogical critique depends on the concrete form (modus) of power that is being scrutinized. We argue that even though we see critique as modus as more convincing than critique as locus, the two approaches can inspire each other in order to advance effective critique.


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How to Cite
Dyrberg, T., & Triantafillou, P. (2019). Critique as locus or modus? Power and resistance in the world of work. Outlines. Critical Practice Studies, 20(1), 47-70. Retrieved from