Analysis Of Joe Painter, A Political Geographer, And The National Health Service

1593 Words Sep 14th, 2014 7 Pages
The definition of ‘state’ is ambiguous. The meaning can change depending on the context. For instance, it could relate to agencies within the state such as government bodies, or the practices carried out by individuals. Furthermore, the state is part of everyday life and manifests itself through the combination of institutions, practices, people and discourses. This creates social order (Blakeley and Saward, 2009, p. 360).

We encounter the state through people such as police officers or doctors; people we may recognise as professionals. These people work for government bodies such as the police force or the National Health Service. Joe Painter, a political geographer, mentions “every day discourses of state actors” (Painter, cited in Blakeley and Saward, 2009, p. 354). By this he means that the people representing the government bodies are ‘state actors’ and the actions they carry out as part of the role are the ‘every day discourses’. These people are physical examples of the state in action but it is possible for the state to operate in invisible ways. Jill’s story illustrates both of these aspects. Firstly, the presence of the school inspectors and health visitor are examples of the visible presence of the state. There are also examples of state institutions – namely the post office and school. Additionally, the requirement for Jill to have an MOT certificate for her car is evidence of the state operating in invisible ways. The state also dictates Jill’s routine at…

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