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The Proof of the Power is in the Influence: Deconstructing Legitimate Power in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie and Old School 
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The educational system is one construct of our political and social culture created to empower and inform. Teachers and institutions uphold an ingrained responsibility to carry out such tasks. Although our society is equipped with checks and balances to regulate the efficiency of our systems, the opinions and actions of participants in society can assist with providing feedback from a larger point of view based on experience. Literature, a classic means of storytelling to entertain, inform and educate, can be used as a way to reach people on another level. I claim that the familiar experiences of authors through their fiction help society to question plausible situations in everyday life in order to induce change.

The use of power in the education system, primarily legitimate power, according to French and Raven rationalizes the use of authority in order to produce influence. I argue that two narratives, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Old School, highlight the abuse of legitimate power through satire (to convey norms) and irony (a search for an unknown truth the norm opposes) in order to encourage readers to question their societal systems. The theories of deconstruction (to find meaning in the contradiction of truth in a text) and narrative ethics (moral constructs in storytelling between author, audience, character and narrator) help me to analyze how the chaos and confusion of abuse allows individuals to reevaluate norms through a moral and ethical lens in the hopes to empower others to search for alternative ways to constructively improve and regulate behaviors and attitudes which can compromise our societal structures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 20
Keywords [en]
Narrative ethics, Wolff, Spark, French and Raven, deconstruction, legitimate power, education, abuse of power
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Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169597OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169597DiVA, id: diva2:1322720
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Available from: 2019-06-19 Created: 2019-06-11 Last updated: 2019-06-19Bibliographically approved

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