x_filesize')); // Sort image tag $OC_sortImg = 'current sort selection'; ?> ࡱ>  Sbjbj̵ $צצНi8D[,\$"#$$$$$$ &(f$$$##r"T#@wxh/##,,$0\$=#z))## q:    Submission Title: Sisterhood is Work: Solidarity as Integration and Feminist Praxis across Difference Submission Type: Discussion Paper (SAAP 2012) Abstract: The current context reminds feminists of both the urgency of solidarity across differences and the challenge of differences at the same time. It is crucial to rethink the notion of solidarity such that it is willing to engage differences without the intention of assimilating or overriding these. In this paper, I offer an alternative formulation of the project of solidarity as being a problem of boundaries. I highlight and critique some of the popular moves that happen in name of feminist solidarity, and analyze their failure to resolve the boundary problem. I then bring pragmatist thinker Mary Parker Follett into the conversation, and build on her concept of integration. I argue that a Follettian approach to integration resolves the boundary problem more successfully, and is better equipped to generate unity and deal with differences in a non-assimilative way. Integration also has great potential to yield an ethics of humility. (149 words) Paper: The landscape that contemporary feminists find themselves in is a complicated one. Over and above increasing direct face-to-face interactions, globalization has also created opportunities for establishing connections through cultural productions, technology, transnational justice networks, etc. This background poses a host of opportunities and challenges for feminist praxes. The cycles of dependencies accentuated by globalization come hand-in-hand with concerns over unequal distribution, unequal access to resources, and the rise of fundamentalist ideologies. All these together pose very real challenges to womens liberatory projects all over the world, as they remind us of the urgency of collaboration, cooperation, and solidarity across difference. At the same time, the presence of these very differences and inequalities threaten to undermine the spirit for collaboration at any given moment. In these circumstances, third wave feminist theorists such as Chandra Mohanty, Ofelia Schutte, bell hooks, etc. issue a call for decolonizing feminism. It is a call for feminist orientations that are culturally sensitive, but are willing to confront and negotiate their own ethnocentric biases at the same time. I also think that any attempt to decolonize feminism must incorporate an implicit demand for feminism to be a self-reflective and critical praxis. This is required so that feminism does not degenerate into yet another manipulative and colonizing ideology. In order to actualize the vision of a decolonizing feminism and to envision any kind of praxis across differences, it is crucial to rethink the very notion of solidarity such that it is realistic, sensitive to differences on the ground, and willing to work with these differences without the intention of assimilating or overriding these. The project of solidarity thus stated, is ethical and political at the same time. It is deeply connected to questions of agency, valuation, power, justice, and so on. Some crucial questions, for instance, relate to what it means to be different, is difference necessarily conflictual, how can differences be upheld productively and creatively, what is problematic when difference collapses into sameness, can we think of solidarity without identifying it with or resorting to simple assimilation, etc. This paper seeks to offer a more productive vantage-point from which we can start to answer some of these questions. In section I, I highlight some of the popular moves that happen in name of feminist solidarity and explain how this project often degenerates into a colonizing and coercive agenda despite its noble motivations. In the light of my critique of some of these things that pass in the name of solidarity and sisterhood, I argue for a framing of the issue of solidarity as being a problem of boundaries. I think that this formulation helps clarify further what is at stake in any demand for solidarity. I analyze how some of the popular moves that happen in the name of solidarity fail to negotiate the boundary problem thus stated, and to offer productive frameworks for thinking about agency and power. This reiterates the need for coming up with new tools and methods. In section II, I bring pragmatist thinker Mary Parker Follett into the conversation, and build on her concept of integration. I argue that a Follettian approach to integration resolves the boundary problem more successfully, and is better equipped to generate unity and deal with differences and conflict in a non-assimilative way. In section III, I reflect on how integration is not only an effective method for actualizing solidarity, but also offers valuable insight into what is involved in any decolonizing practice of solidarity. It can add significantly to the critical component that I emphasized as part of a responsible praxis of solidarity across difference. I also argue that integration has great potential to yield what an ethics of humility. I In order to clarify the concept of solidarity, it is important to outline some of the things that tend to go on in the name of feminist solidarity across differences. Solidarity is not an easy concept to contend with. Traditional western liberal feminism approached solidarity through the lens of sisterhood. Fighting for gender justice meant uniting as sisters in the struggle against patriarchy. And, securing gender justice primarily implied securing gender equality. A politics of equality, in turn, has always had a tendency to work hand-in-hand with a liberal notion of reciprocity as Eva Feder Kittay points out in her book, Loves Labor. Kittay cites Rawls perspective on equality to demonstrate this point, which runs thus, The representation for equality is an easy matter: we simply describe all the parties in the same way and situate them equally, that is, symmetrically with respect to one another. (1999, 79) Kittay identifies one defining element of equality according to this definition as being that the parties are equally situated with respect to one another. (1999, 80) When equality is conceived as symmetry, then it entails reciprocity in the sense that Kittay identifies Rawls as proposing. She cites Rawlss understanding of it as follows, They must each benefit, or share in common burdens, in some appropriate fashion judged by a suitable benchmark of comparison. (1992, 300). (Kittay 1999, 106) The liberal strands of the western womens movement too seem to have worked with this kind of framework for thinking about the relationship between equality and reciprocity, which is so clearly articulated by Rawls in later years. The demand for equality in the sense of equality of opportunity, equal voice, equal visibility, and so on entailed a demand for reciprocity between the genders. A liberal understanding of reciprocity takes it to signify conscious inter-relation between two decision-making equals, that is marked by mutual sharing, benefit, and exchange. However, traditional liberal feminism often assumed reciprocity between women, even as it interrogated the lack of reciprocity across genders. I consider two features of a liberal feminist conception of reciprocity to be particularly important. The reciprocity in question, assumed equality in the sense of total symmetry and commensurability. The assumption of total symmetry meant that there was no need to problematize the category of woman, and examine whether it could be fractured by diverse experiences, locations, and power-differentials. Absolute commensurability was assumed through an appeal to common oppression, which could establish unity and understanding between women by virtue of the fact that they were women. It could bind women as sisters in struggle against a common enemy. Symmetry and commensurability, in turn, served as the bases for thinking about solidarity. Feminists of color challenge the idea of common oppression as a basis of arguing for commensurability. They do so by highlighting the intersectional nature of identities, the diversity in womens issues, and the conflict between women on the same issue. Any claim to symmetry and reciprocity is particularly problematic. In fact, postcolonial critiques expose how the agenda of the idea of solidarity based on a liberal notion of sisterhood, has been exclusionary. It ends up being a mechanism of domination, in so far as it renders invisible all that does not serve its interests. In order to be identified as feminists, be engaged in feminist conversations, or even to fall within the purview of feminist issues and agendas, women often have to put other aspects of their identity on hold at the alter of a predetermined notion of womanhood. This means willing to uncritically embrace or, as I view it, consent to the idea and categories of hegemonic feminisms. Such consent often means acting in opposition to and suppressing their own intuitions and lived experience. This is especially problematic for those women for whom other aspects of their identity are intimately tied to their gendered existence and, in fact, sometimes takes precedence over the latter. Islamic scholar Maysam J. Al Faruqi, for instance, indicates a popular tendency on the part of people outside the Islamic faith to define Muslim womanhood on a basis that has nothing to do with Islam. (2000, 73-4) She points out that this is especially problematic for self-declared Muslim women, for whom Islam is not an additional ideological superstructure (Al-Faruqi 2000, 74), but the first source of identity. In her words, [w]hat becomes of the self-identity of the Muslim woman, reduced here to a universal concept of womanhood, battered by a universal concept of manhood along universal lines of cultural patriarchal oppression that can be identified by a universal list of human rights and be fought by universal measures ? (Al-Faruqi 2000, 74) Interestingly enough, some perspectives that dispute common oppression across group-differences, still issue rigid demands for solidarity within a particular group. Reifying intersectionality, and a lapse into aggressive communatarianism are the primary reasons behind this. These are the kinds of cases that Al-Faruqi seems to have in mind when she talks about perspectives that put all the blame for problems within ones groups on external abuses (2000, 72), that is, on peoples and things outside it. If goals and expectations of what it means to be a woman in a particular group are stipulated in advance within that group, and individuals have to buy into these in order to be included, solidarity within a particular group also ends up being a compromise for a number of women. When any criticism or claim to the contrary is considered blasphemy, then solidarity again becomes a means of domination. No wonder, bell hooks makes the case that solidarity is not only pertinent for theorizing relations between women belonging to different groups, but is equally necessary for intra-group relations when we take heterogeneity within groups seriously. I would like to note that the concept of solidarity, when thus formulated is also a problem of boundaries. For instance, by articulating problems with understanding Muslim women through the lens of a universal womanhood, Al-Faruqi cautions us against dissolving the boundaries that institute differences between Muslim women and other groups of women, and articulating the problems of the former in terms of a generalized feminist language of universal patriarchal oppression. She acknowledges that Muslim women face very real problems of social, economic, and political oppression, (Al-Faruqi 2000, 72) but at the same time, emphasizes the fact that definitions and solutions of these problems must not negate or overlook Muslim womens identity as women in Islam. On the other hand, reducing all critique to heresy or kufr(Al-Faruqi 2000, 73) is equally oppressive. Although Al-Faruqi is mainly concerned with religious boundaries, her insight is important for some other boundaries that divide groups of women as well. While highlighting the problems with a simplified notion of solidarity, theorists such as hooks still want to preserve some notion of a cooperative praxis that does not degenerate into a colonizing and manipulative agenda. I endorse the latter tendency of not sacrificing unity at the altar of complete incommensurability and radical difference. By approaching the problem of solidarity as also being a problem of boundaries, I highlight the fact that an effective tool for mobilizing difference so as to render the kind of solidarity possible that hooks et al draw our attention to, should be able to respond adequately to the boundary problem as well as to issues of power and agency. It is on these counts that domination, compromise, and consent as popular moves in the name of solidarity fail. Domination and suppression work with the assumption that boundaries and differences are necessarily conflictual and uncreative, and hence, must be negated. Moreover, they operate through the submission of one agent to the other and, hence, entail the erasure of agency on one end of the relationship. Since the kind of power evolved through it is concentrated on one end of the relation, it is coercive in nature. Compromise is a step forward from domination in the sense that it does not dismiss differences outright. However, compromise means that desires and interests still have to be given up or suppressed in order for the conflict to be resolved. More importantly, the primary aim of compromise is to put an end to the conflict as soon as possible rather than to diffuse existing power imbalances or even question these. Consequently, the most vulnerable end up giving up much more in any process of compromise and it is their agency that is deactivated in the relation most of the time. Due to this, compromise tends to become another instance of coercive power. Yet another way in which differences are dealt with without explicit coercion, is through consent. Consent, in fact, is considered to be at the heart of contractual relations, a more democratic process, and something that gets a lot of weight in the context of utilitarian alliances. Follett points out that consent usually signifies assent. And, the ballot-box system is the most popular way of securing such assent, when multiple agents are involved. Such a method of unification, for Follett, always has the danger of suppressing the minority voice. In her words, In a power-society, however, it is the desire of the dominant classes which by the sorcery of consent becomes the will of the people. (Follett 1924, 209) It can, therefore, very quickly degenerate into coercive power. The sorcery of consent, is more a mechanism of assimilation through the subservience of the will and agency of many to some rather than a dynamic process of engagement among wills. It, therefore, covertly shares the same psychology and philosophy as that of coercion. All the popular methods of ensuring solidarity and responding to the boundary problem discussed above run into trouble because of being instances of coercive power. As such, they can really never allow for the kind of robust scheme of interactive agency that so many feminists call for in contemporary times. This is due to the fact that coercive power as a model for thinking about power, yields a powerful/powerless dichotomy since power is unequally and unfairly concentrated on one end of the relation. The resulting dichotomy is particularly problematic as an analytical, evaluative, and transformative tool for oppression. In fact, when agency and power are understood through the lenses of a simple power-over scheme, then it would seem that the best way to end oppression would be to invert the existing power structure. However, as Mohanty points out in her critique of a binary analysis of power (although she does not connect it to power-over as I have discussed it), If relations of domination and exploitation are defined in terms of binary divisions groups that dominate and groups that are dominated then surely the implication is that the accession to power of women as a group is sufficient to dismantle the existing organization of relations. (2003, 39) In the light of Mohantys observation, we start to see that simply inverting the existing power structure does nothing to promote larger ethical issues of justice. This is due to the fact that the power-over structure that results in a dichotomy between the powerful and the powerless, along with the oppression that such a dichotomy entails, is still preserved. Moreover, no individual person or group has a claim to any absolutely pure standpoint. This, along with the persistence of a binary structure, greatly enhances the chances of new masters to make slaves of the previous ones. What is required, therefore, is a more complex understanding of power itself, and the need to loosen its tie with coercion while strengthening it with co-action, which is lacking in the methods discussed so far. The precarious closeness to coercion especially threatens to make these methods for ensuring solidarity very problematic, and to make solidarity appear as a matter of power-play involving a ruthless overriding of the agency of the most vulnerable. We need to search tools that seek to generate unities, but only through evolving co-active power, and with the aim of preserving agency on both ends of the relation. With this aim, I now turn to a discussion of integration as it appears in Folletts work. II Integration is a concept that appears in Mary Parker Folletts book, Creative Experience, in 1924. In fact, the emphasis on integration arises in the light of the emphasis on circular response.  The ontology of circular response highlights the fact that any total situation is, at once, also an evolving situation one that is reconfigured by the interactions between agents, as well as their response to the relation between them. As aspects of evolving situations, then agents constantly find themselves as being parts of new situations to which they must now respond. Their responses, in turn, are capable of generating further systems of order, that is, new wholes. Integration is the process through which one can effectively become parts of new wholes. Integration, in turn, requires us to revise our understanding of conflict. Follett understands conflict as the moment of the appearing and focusing of difference (1982a, 5). She provides interesting insight into some of the confusions surrounding the use of the word, conflict, on the part of those who wish to abolish it as well as those who wish to retain it. According to her, What people often mean by getting rid of conflict is getting rid of diversity, and it is of utmost importance that these should not be considered the same. We must face life as it is and understand that diversity is its most essential feature. (Follett 1924, 300-1) If difference is a basic fact of life, then a method that tries to circumvent it without confronting it is bound to fail. Of course, the fact that difference is a fact of experience does not make it any less of a challenge. The basic challenge as I have identified it above, is to prevent difference from degenerating into coercive power, and work it into co-active power. For Follett, integration is the best possible way of evolving the kinds of relations that are conducive to the production of greater functional unities, in the context of which agents come to exercise agency and yield co-active power. What we designate as a community of interest or collective will needs to be such a functional whole - a new level of desire that is constituted through the affirmation and integration of diverse desires. Domination and compromise fail to evolve this kind of functional unity, since the modes of suppression and sacrifice they resort to, fail to activate the agency of each agent involved. However, for true co-active power to be evolved we do not want either side to sacrifice its interests for we want nothing lost, we want all the interests to be united. Integrating interests precisely achieves this sort of union. The clearest definition of integration that Follett gives us runs thus, The heart of the truth about integration is the connection between the relating of two activities, their interactive influence, and the values thereby created. (1924, 53) In the discussion in the next few pages, different aspects of this definition will become clearer. Integration is, first and foremost, a purposive action that is evolved in relation, and acknowledges and requires agency (in some form or other) on both sides of the relation. However, perhaps the first step toward integration is to bring all differences out into the open. A lot of conflicts are never resolved, precisely because the differences underlying them never surface clearly. I think that, in fact, an easy way for a politics of domination to gain life is to prevent differences from surfacing. It is important to bring differences out into the open not only to facilitate communication, but also to provoke scrutiny and critique. Integration involves the envisioning of something new to mitigate a conflict. This means going beyond the conflicting alternatives, while accommodating these at the same time. Follett calls this excess or novelty, plus values or plusvalents (1924, 75). Through the concept of plus-values, she wants to emphasize the fact that previously conflicting desires are not just combined in any additive or assimilative sense to generate the functional whole. In popular usage, however, our tendency is to use plus-value for designating a plus relation, in the sense of a one-by-one connection rather than integration. (Follett 1924, 75) Plus in this sense, means more, and the general tendency is to attribute a greater value to this more relative to its parts. Follett thinks that when the nature of the whole is characterized in this sense of more, then it becomes a static whole. Contrary to this tendency, she uses plus-value to express the fact that integration gives an additional value, one more value, but not necessarily a greater or super value. (Follett 1924, 75) It is precisely on this count that she refrains from using the term, super, to denote the new functional unity evolved as a result of integration. While clearing up the confusions surrounding the word, plus, Follett is still eager to preserve the terminology of plusvalents to distance her position from the other alternative of equivalents (1924, 75). Compromise in the light of this terminology, for instance, would be a theory of equivalents because it tries to balance out/adjust between the given alternatives without trying to move beyond them. The emphasis on the plus is also what distinguishes integration from mere coordination. Coordination does take into account the interaction between the elements of a situation. However, it usually stops at aligning interests with each other so as to achieve unity, but does not attempt to move beyond the available alternatives and interweave them to generate the solution. Consent, as an additive approach, also stops at this level. An integrative unity as a community of interests understood as a unifying of interests (Follett 1924, 48), on the contrary, is different from these sorts of unities. It focuses not on balancing interests, but on interweaving these to create something new. Thus conceived, a unity is not a sterile conception but an active force. It is a double process the activity which goes to make the unity and the activity which flows from the unity. (Follett 1998, 59) The very process of integration, therefore, has the potential to change agents and their desires. Since integration is creative experience, it is a kind of qualitative adjustment as opposed to compromise, which is a quantitative one. (Follett 1924, 163) In order to unify in the sense of interweave, we must adopt a specific lens for looking at the individual elements within any given situation. When things are conceived as having fluid boundaries, and as emergent in situations within varied interweavings, then two related entities can never be constants in any static sense. They must be viewed, to use a phrase from Follett, as interdependent variables (1924, 56). Variability, in this case signifies fluidity of boundaries, and the possibility of adjusting the inside and the outside relative to each other. In the light of the fact that any activity is a function of itself interweaving with the activity of which it is a function (Follett 1924, 72), it will not be unfair to say that things can only be variable constants and never constants in any absolute sense. This impetus can better facilitate a transition from the language of opposed interests to one of incompatible interests. I view this transition as not just being a linguistic matter, but potentially signifying two very different orientations towards a situation of conflict. One signifies a willingness to engage in the very least, while the other moves the opposite way. And the importance of such willingness cannot be discounted in actually moving from opposed purposes to new ones in the long run: something that characterizes numerous projects of solidarity. As differences are brought out into the open, purposes are evaluated, and agents change, new purposes are also evolved. This is because, as Follett urges, evaluation often leads to revaluation. (1982a, 9) Integrative activity, therefore, can potentially disclose (Follett 1924, 33) new purposes. To summarize her point of view, It now seems clear that we must look for purpose within the process itself. We must see experience as an interplay of forces, as the activity of relating leading through fresh relatings to a new activity, not from purpose to deed and deed to purpose with a fatal gap between... (Follett 1924, 81) The fact of purposes being tied to activity, and evolving in the context of activity, is used by Follett to argue that we must always attend to the relation between preconceived end with growing end (1924, 82). The activity of integrating, therefore, becomes an activity of purposing (1924, 89) at the same time. Integration, as discussed so far, is a creative principle that aims to safeguard differences from crystallizing. In the chapter titled Experience as Creating, however, Follett provides an important clarification on the search for newness within the integrative process. Ever so often, creative activity or invention, is used to indicate causeless spontaneity (Follett 1924, 160). Such a characterization disregards the specificity of response, relative to its context. Follett, on the contrary, urges that integration is always a progressive process. She substitutes integration for progressive integration, as she thinks that most integrations by the time we know them as such have been arrived at through many successive integrations. (Follett 1924, 160-1) As an activity of purposing, and as the site for new acts of purposing, integration is a perpetual movement. Each integration offers a point of stability in the life of an evolving situation, yet there is nothing abiding, complete, and ultimate about this stability. The networks in which an individual element is implicated are so vast that there is always the possibility of newer and better integrations. An integrated situation, therefore, can never be a final resolution in the sense of a finishing point it is a potential starting-point for a new one. One thing to note in the integrative process is the attempt to preserve the integrity of the elements while trying to interweave them. I have already noted the difference between diversity and conflict, and Folletts claim that getting rid of conflict (crystallized and pathological difference) need not amount to getting rid of diversity. We must learn to discern the exact nature of the differences, the points of interaction between them, and explore ways to interweaving them for the purposes of pointed action. However, it is important to remember that a successful integration is not just an activity of creating, but it is an activity of co-creating (Follett 1924, 302). Co-creating and interweaving is not possible if differences embodied by agents are eliminated through domination, sacrifice, and other instances of asserting power-over. No wonder, Follett uses the phrase progressive differings, (1982a, 6) hand-in-hand with progressive integrating. Every progressive integrating is, at the same time, a progressive differing. Due to its emphasis on the nuanced working of integrating and differentiating in any act of integration, the latter is a more viable alternative to the boundary problem compared to other modes negotiating differences such as domination, compromise, consent, and coordination. It is this very impetus that makes a Follettian approach to integration very different from integration understood as assimilation, which pervades our popular understanding of the term especially in the American context. Integration as a method is interested in evolving power, and not simply redistributing it or reversing existing structures of power (although these could sometimes be required as part of the process). In fact, the authority of the unity, that is, the common will arrived at through integration, is derived from nothing else but interweaving individual activity. (Follett 1924, 48) It is at the node of such interweaving that power emerges for Follett. As a co-active and creative process, therefore, successful integration must try to undo the powerful/powerless dichotomy at each and every step. This is because instances of co-active power are also susceptible to becoming instances of coercive power, given the fact that the networks in which an individual emerges are so vast. In order to prevent this, critical power-analysis must be built into the structure of integration. Such analysis is partly made possible by the fact that the very act of integrating raises questions about each individuals values, interests, etc. even as these are being integrated. I think, however, that such critical power analysis must also include identifying, and constantly evaluating the power-with in a specific situation relative to any traces of power-over in it, so as to guage how far we have progressed in terms of integration. Follett herself is somewhat ambiguous about whether we can simply engage in evolving power-with in a particular instance. However, I recognize that there is sometimes a very fine line between power-over and power-with depending on the case-at-hand, the nature of agents, the nature of the purpose, etc. Therefore, I think that a critical and comparative power-analysis of different aspects of the situation relative to each other, is crucial for discerning how power is working in a particular case of integration and the liberatory/oppressive potential of the unities generated. This, along with the evaluative impetus built into any true integrative process as outlined above, makes integration a critical a self-reflective method at the same time. In this sense, integration is also interrogation. III I would like to end my thoughts on solidarity by going back to a quote from Bernice Johnson Reagon, which I find particularly inspiring. While recognizing the importance of solidarity, Reagon writes, You dont do no coalition building in a womb. Its just like trying to get a baby used to taking a drink when theyre in your womb. It just dont work too well. Coalition work is not work done in your home. Coalition work has to be done in the streets. And it is some of the most dangerous work you can do. (Home Girls, Coalition Politics) For Reagon, coalition has to do with coalescing. And, coalescing, entails specific orientations and attitudes. It is about willing to come out of the womb or ones little barred room images evoked by her, to designate places of comfort and safety. It demands coming out onto the streets, that is, to risk oneself, open up to the different, and stretch ones perimeter. Integration as discussed above, has great potential to be a fruitful principle of solidarity and coalition, if these are understood as coalescing. As I read Reagon, coalescing involves bringing diverse things together, and negotiating these differences to foster connections. While challenging boundaries and differences, however, coalescing demands their maintenance in a more fruitful and productive way. Through my analysis in earlier sections of this paper, I argued that any effective tool for actualizing solidarity in a robust way must respond adequately to the boundary problem. Integration is more successful than its counterparts on these points, since it takes differences to be crucial to its own sustenance, and recognizes their creative potential. Every progressive integration is also a progressive differing. Therefore, it has the potential to foster more effective coalescing which yields co-active power. We must also remember that every act of integrating is also one of analyzing, critiquing, and questioning. While being a method of negotiating differences and resolving conflict, integration also marks off a specific ethical orientation. The need to be open, to listen, engage, evaluate, and critique that is, to interrogate, which it places on us as agents-in-situation, can potentially facilitate an orientation of humility. Follett, in fact, dispels a common misconception about humility. She points out that being humble is often associated with compromise. Against this grain, she argues that this will be exposed as not being the case, if we watch compromise closely. She goes on to say that [t]hat kind of humility, if it existed, would not be worth much. Humility needs to be defined: it is merely never claiming any more than belongs to me in any way whatever; it rests on the ability to see clearly what does belong to me. Thus do we maintain our integrity. (Follett 1924, 157) Real humility is tied to respecting boundaries, and requires us to see clearly see what is really ours. Compromise, on the contrary, involves giving up part of what is yours, and the result is action tendencies repressed, detracting from the power of the whole. (Fox and Urwick 1982, xxix) Since integration is a qualitative adjustment, as opposed to a quantitative one such as compromise (Follett 1924, 163), it carries the potential for better and clearer perception, and of changing ones own thinking by subjecting it to scrutiny and letting it interweave with others not like it. In doing so, it can take us out of our own narrow ethnocentric way of seeing reality, (Bunch 1990, 51) which can be a roadblock to learning from diversity. Integration involves risk, recognizes its own instabilities and limitations, and tries to work out better stabilities from the initial instability. It, therefore, provides additional bases for an ethical orientation of humility, along with additional resources for actualizing it. Integration recognizes the transformative ability of agents, but yet tempers any sense of optimism with a critical power-analysis. Indeed, even if we fail to integrate a particular situation, critical and comparative power-analysis in terms of power-with versus power-over is an important tool for distinguishing between good and bad relational power. Pratt notes that the language of power-over actually provides a framework for a kind of critical theory in terms of which present social structures, institutions, and practices can be examined. (2011, 17) The comparative power-analysis, which I emphasize in addition to this distinction, also helps us to draw a subtle distinction between being an agent and being empowered. For instance, consenting to ideals and standards of hegemonic feminisms could open up limited possibilities of participating in platforms of dialogue, gaining visibility, etc. However, applying a comparative power-analysis, we can gather how the slight trace of power-with that appears to be present in the situation, operates in a very large context of coercive power. This not only allows us to better analyze the situation, but gives us a more productive basis for evaluating it. If we had stopped at the level of deducing empowerment from traces of agency alone, then we would have had to regard cases of consenting or compromising in the above ways as being standards for empowerment at the same time. The distinction between agency and empowerment that I have suggested, again, renders narratives of agency among the most vulnerable possible, without overlooking the vulnerability in question. It, therefore, gives us a stronger basis for formulating concerns about justice even within apparently democratic settings. Integration recognizes that, although starting with specific purposes, these purposes evolve as agents interact with each other and react to new situations. Every integration tends to be the result of other integrations, and can potentially become a fresh starting-point for new ones. It is, therefore, both a process and a product at the same time. Integration as an activity of purposing is a perpetual movement. Every little movement from opposing to new purposes through a process of integrating becomes an exercise and lesson in coalescing, even if it ultimately fails to yield the kind of unity initially aimed for. Indeed, it carries all the risks and possibilities that Reagon associates with an act of coalescing. Integration, rethought in this way, no longer remains just one other method for fostering solidarity, but becomes an act of solidarizing in its own right. And it is this movement, which makes integration an ethical force, and a critical tool for a more responsible praxis across differences. (5998 words) Bibliography: Al-Faruqi, Maysam J. 2000. Womens Self-Identity in the Quran and Islamic Law. In Windows of Faith: Muslim Women Scholar-Activists in North America, edited by Gisela Webb, 72-101. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press. Bunch, Charlotte. 1990. Making Common Cause: Diversity and Coalitions. In Bridges of Power: Womens Multicultural Alliances, edited by Lisa Albrecht and Rose M. Brewer 49-56. Foreward by Caryn McTighe Musil. Published in cooperation with the National Womens Studies Association. Santa Cruz, CA: New Society Publishers. Follett, Mary Parker. 1924. Creative Experience. New York: Longmans, Green and Co. _________. 1982a. Constructive Conflict. In Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett, second edition, edited by Elliot M. Fox and L. Urwick, 1-20. New York: Hippocrene Books, Inc. _________. 1982b. Power. In Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett, second edition, edited by Elliot M. Fox and L. Urwick, 66-87. New York: Hippocrene Books, Inc. Fox, E.M., and L. Urwick. 1982. Introduction to the Second Edition. In Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett, second edition, edited by Elliot M. Fox and L. Urwick, vii-xxxii. New York: Hippocrene Books, Inc. hooks, bell. 2000. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, second edition. Cambridge, MA: South End Press. Kittay, Eva Feder. 1999. Loves Labor: Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency. New York: Routledge. Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. 2003. Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham: Duke University Press. Pratt, Scott L. 2011. American Power: Mary Parker Follett and Michel Foucault. In Foucault Studies No. 11: 76-91. Reagon, Bernice Johnson. 2000. Coalition Politics: Turning the Century. In Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, edited by Barbara Smith. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Kindle edition.  Circular response, as is apparent from its discussion in chapter three, signifies the process through which related entities within a particular situation impact and create each other through and because of their interweaving. What Follett wants us to notice, however, is that not only is one element responding to the other, but it is also responding to the relation between to them. In the midst of these multiple relatings and responses, the situation itself constantly evolves, or is a-making to use Folletts term (1924, 102). On this ground, Follett urges, that an understanding of the total situation is incomplete without looking at the evolving situation at the same time.  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