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Chapter 2 - Toward a Power-Sensitive Conceptualization of Transformative Agency

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 November 2023

Nick Hopwood
University of Technology, Sydney
Annalisa Sannino
Tampere University, Finland
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A contribution to discussions of agency and change from the perspective of cultural-historical activity theory consists of findings on transformative agency by double stimulation (TADS). Aspects of these discussions revolve around the hidden, unrecognized and often suppressed power of hybrid coalitions coming together contribute to making a more just and sustainable world. This chapter presents a theoretical argument supported by empirical examples showing that TADS is intrinsically a power-sensitive conceptualization of agency. The chapter engages in dialogue with and expands on the proposition of power in the sociology of real utopias, arguing that, despite the strong dialectical and progressive stance it adopts, this perspective is still predominantly based on accounts and critiques of how power is played out. A chronological account of two subsequent studies on eradicating homelessness helps construct an expanded proposition in which TADS can serve a key generating and mediating function of power.

Agency and Transformation
Motives, Mediation, and Motion
, pp. 35 - 55
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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