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Site of Resistance or Apparatus of Acquiescence? Tactics at the Bakery

Site of Resistance or Apparatus of Acquiescence? Tactics at the Bakery This article explores the importance and impact of a set of actions through which bakers manipulate laws and regulations that seek to organize and regulate how they do business. It builds on eighteen months of fieldwork conducted in Jordan, twelve of which were spent working in three different bakeries in the capital, Amman. Moving away from the idea that public policies are simply imposed, the article looks in detail at the social relations through which they are enacted. By honing in on the bakery, and examining arrangements between bakery owners, workers, consumers and ministerial employees, it illuminates modes of political agency that escape conventional binaries of domination/resistance, state/society and legality/illegality. I argue against seeing these practices as easily categorized forms of resistance or frivolous acts of corruption. Nor are they simply reinforcements of hegemonic control. Instead, ‘tactics’ at the bakery subvert the order of things to serve other ends. Foregrounding them in this analysis seeks not only to challenge views of power relations as strictly binary but to elucidate some of the ways in which citizens inhabit and engage with the neoliberal and authoritarian logics that pervade everyday life in Jordan. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Middle East Law and Governance Brill

Site of Resistance or Apparatus of Acquiescence? Tactics at the Bakery

Middle East Law and Governance , Volume 10 (2): 25 – Aug 2, 2018

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1876-3367
eISSN
1876-3375
DOI
10.1163/18763375-01002002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores the importance and impact of a set of actions through which bakers manipulate laws and regulations that seek to organize and regulate how they do business. It builds on eighteen months of fieldwork conducted in Jordan, twelve of which were spent working in three different bakeries in the capital, Amman. Moving away from the idea that public policies are simply imposed, the article looks in detail at the social relations through which they are enacted. By honing in on the bakery, and examining arrangements between bakery owners, workers, consumers and ministerial employees, it illuminates modes of political agency that escape conventional binaries of domination/resistance, state/society and legality/illegality. I argue against seeing these practices as easily categorized forms of resistance or frivolous acts of corruption. Nor are they simply reinforcements of hegemonic control. Instead, ‘tactics’ at the bakery subvert the order of things to serve other ends. Foregrounding them in this analysis seeks not only to challenge views of power relations as strictly binary but to elucidate some of the ways in which citizens inhabit and engage with the neoliberal and authoritarian logics that pervade everyday life in Jordan.

Journal

Middle East Law and GovernanceBrill

Published: Aug 2, 2018

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