Feminism, Foucault, and Embodied Subjectivity (Suny Series by Margaret A. McLaren

By Margaret A. McLaren

Argues that Foucault's paintings employs a perception of subjectivity that's well-suited for feminist idea and politics.

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Additional resources for Feminism, Foucault, and Embodied Subjectivity (Suny Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)

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13 Hartsock interprets Foucault’s conception of power as dealing primarily with individuals, rather than groups of individuals or the domination of one group by another. In some sense, this is right because Foucault does not believe that power can be held either by an individual or a group. ”14 As I shall argue in chapter 3, his conception of subjectivity is far from a notion of an abstract individual. 15 And while it is true that he does not systematically discuss sex or gender differences, feminists have successfully extended his work to do so.

He reformulates a Kantian notion of critique in his later writings that appeals to the idea of freedom. However, this notion of freedom is not simply the reintroduction of a traditional Enlightenment norm, but rather it is a constrained, contextualized, historicized freedom that emerges out of particular practices and situations. Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, like The History of Sexuality Volume One, calls into question the idea that reforms in social practices and institutions are necessarily better, lead to more humane treatment, or increase freedom.

In the juridico-discursive model, power comes from above, from a sovereign or government leader. 56 In other words, the juridico-discursive model of power seeks to limit behavior by imposing rules, prohibiting certain behaviors, and limiting one’s access to forbidden things and ideas mainly through the imposition and enforcement of laws imposed by the state. This traditional model views power as unilateral and negative. Contrary to this, Foucault claims that power can be positive and productive.

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