The Power Struggle

Powerful Essays
Many human beings have been involved in a power struggle of some sort since the beginning of time. Between power in the business world, classroom, and government it is often clear who is subordinate and who is dominant. Subordinates may at times feel powerless; however, they can gain satisfaction out of aesthetics and hidden transcripts because of the personal freedoms it represents to them.

James Scott wrote an essay, "Behind the Official Story", which is a discussion of subordinates and their relationship with dominants. It also discusses the hidden transcript and public transcript used by subordinates. "The hidden transcript is thus derivative in the sense that it consists of those offstage speeches, gestures, and practices that confirm, contradict, or inflect what appears in the public transcript" (Scott 524). Many times subordinates have to put on an act to please the dominants. Scott refers to this as the public transcript (Scott 522). The public transcript subordinates display for their superiors is merely surface and often does not truly show how they feel about their superiors. If they were always blunt about how they feel they risk getting a bad grade, fired, or in trouble. Only when subordinates are among themselves can they discuss how they really feel about their superior which would be an example of the hidden transcript.

Azar Nafisi wrote, Reading Lolita in Tehran: a Memoir in Books, a book about her life as a teacher in Iran. Nafisi decided to teach an all- female class in her home. Nafisi quotes one of her students who explains why she had to lie to her father about taking the class,

I lied…What else can one do with a person who's so dictatorial he won't let his daughter, at this age, go to an all-female lit...

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...ill put a person in prison or kill a person for speaking his/her thoughts then they know for certain a fantasy of speaking out his/her beliefs without severe consequences is completely unrealistic. As a result, the hidden transcript does give him/her more satisfaction than what the government intends for the people to have. As Nafisi worded it, "Our world in that living room with its window framing my beloved Elburz Mountains became our sanctuary, our self-contained universe, mocking the reality of black-scarved, timid faces in the city that sprawled below (Nafisi 332).

Although under some circumstances people can never have the opportunity to tell dominants how they really feel about them, they do still get personal satisfaction out of hidden transcripts. As a result this allows subordinates to have dignity and support from others going through a similar experience.
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