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Arrogant Perception

miaashley's picture
  • Understanding the Arrogant Persepction

I want to understand this term used by Maria Lugones by first putting emphasis on the word perception instead of the word arrogant which is its descriptor. When first trying to understand this term, I began by discussing the word arrogant before the word perception and my understanding of the text became confusing. However, when putting the emphasis on perception it is easier to begin thinking about how this applies at large to feminist epistemology, colonialism, power, education, etc. despite each of these entities being at times very different from one another. However, they all relate in the sense that how we perceive the world, our perception of the world is colored by hegemonic ideologies that are created and reproduced by people with power. As sociologist C. Wright Mills discusses in his book, The Power Elite, it is the select few with the most cultural, social and monetary capital that create the hegemonic perspective. Ordinary people, the majority of people, except a small population of the intellectual bourgeoisie, as Pierre Bourdieu discusses, consumes thoughts with little doubt or reflection as to who created these ideals and beliefs and for what reasons. The word arrogant then makes more sense in that those who have the power to create perspective, shape them, infiltrate them are those who are arrogant. There is arrogance in being able to determine the lives of people while withholding information, while making decisions and spreading ideology that is not in the interest of the majority.  It is arrogant in that despite knowing that the majority of peoples in society are not going to benefit from such embodied, and believed perceptions, that they continue to feed them, nourish them and catalyze them.  The hypocritical point in all of this, is that to disagree is to know that you have recognized the existing, that you have accrued or acquired a level of capital that makes you cognizant of this power structure---that you are no better. Knowing is not what liberates you from arrogance either. It creates arrogance over the arrogant who have the power to seize their arrogance, but it does little from everyone else around.


alesnick's picture

"knowing is not what liberates you from arrogance"

This is suggestive: will you write more, perhaps link this to your next blog post?  I think you are talking about the problem with some people telling others that they (the some) know the TRUTH, when everyone must be free to perceive.  And you are suggesting that power is power to condition others' perceptions and self-perception.  How does this connect to your daily life? And what are your questions about it?  What is it helping you re-see?