Foucault argues that the body is a site where discourses (including gender and sexuality) inscribe themselves. In “History and Sexuality Vol. I”, Foucault concerns himself primarily with the idea of sex, and how sex is influenced by, and influencing society and individuals. Sex is traditionally viewed as a real, biological entity from which we conclude that there is such a thing as sexuality. Foucault disagrees, arguing that sex is an “imaginary thing” produced by the idea of sexuality in order to maintain a coherent image (Foucault, 155-156). The body is a conglomerate of culturally constituted meanings, and sex is an “imaginary point” (CITE)- the mere result of a materiality. Nonetheless, sex and gender are primary ways in which societies organize and...
... middle of paper ...
...stood outside of the cultural influencers of sex and gender is damaging to people and politics. This does not mean that the body does not matter, as Butler asserts in her example on the documentary “Paris is Burning”. CITE. Bodies are sites that are inextricably bound up with gender, class, and race together, and to try to imagine one without the other is impossible. Although Butler’s theories have often been criticized for discounting the body, Butler argues that Foucault’s philosophy destroys the body by holding it up as a pre-cultural entity. Foucault maintains that the body has to be destroyed by culture in order for culture to emerge; culture has to make the body illegible before itself can be legible. Butler’s philosophies try to save the body by denying it materiality, by asserting that the body is only understandable within the context of gender and sexuality.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- ... If individuals are simply compliant bodies shaped by power, then it becomes difficult to imagine resistance to power. Foucault believed that from the 17th century on, the growth and care of the populace became the chief concern of the state. As this happened new mechanisms of power emerged which focused on the administration and management of living. Foucault spells out the genesis of this political technology and its use for social control: "One of the great innovations in the techniques of power in the eighteenth century was the emergence of “population” as an economic and political problem: population as wealth, population as manpower or labour capacity, population balanced between i... [tags: biopower, society, mechanism]
1258 words (3.6 pages)
- The writings of Foucault, Bartky, Butler, and Bordo are significantly separate from each other in the issues that they grapple with within the body of their texts but their also overlap on major points, as is to be expected when many people write on the same subject. Each of these writers is concerned with different aspects of power and how that power is used and how it operates within our society. Most of these writers are feminist theorists and concerned with the ways that the female body is affected by power used against her while Foucault is less concerned with how power affects female bodies specifically but that can be seen as a result of his lack of connection to feminist thought.... [tags: Sociology, Gender, Heteronormativity, Woman]
855 words (2.4 pages)
- Especially in the letters to her sister she addresses the life that the women of the Orient lead. She criticizes the representation of women regarding sexuality, marriage, customs and liberty. By doing so she sets her travel account apart from the ones of other writers at that time, such as Jean Dumont, Aaron Hill, Robert Withers, George Sandys and John Covel (cf. Lowe, pg.1). She often remarks how male travelers have given wrong descriptions and depiction of the Orient. Jean Dumont is one of the travelers she criticizes: “[…] that worthy author Dumont, who ‘has writ with equal ignorance and confidence’”.... [tags: Western world, Orient, Far East, Gender]
991 words (2.8 pages)
- Within this paper, I shall evaluate the usefulness of selected examples of Foucault’s theories from a feminist perspective. To begin, a short introduction will outline the era in which Foucault wrote, as this has been seen as influential to his work, inspiring him to move away from the former ideological ways of thinking about the world (Taylor and Vintges 2004, Mills 1997). I shall then go on to consider the changing nature of feminism, which has moved on from viewing patriarchy and men as the oppressors of women, and is persistently developing more complex analyses of the ways in which gendered power relations operate.... [tags: stalinism, michel foucault, feminism]
959 words (2.7 pages)
- This essay will analyze and critique Michel Foucault’s (1984) essay The Use of Pleasure in order to reveal certain internal weaknesses it contains and propose modifications that would strengthen his reading of sexuality as a domain of moral self-formation. In order to do so, it will present a threefold critique of his work. Firstly, it will argue that that his focus on solely the metric of pleasure divorced from its political manifestations underemphasizes state power as a structuring principle of sexuality.... [tags: Morality, Ethics, Michel Foucault, Immanuel Kant]
1709 words (4.9 pages)
- Foucault and the Theories of Power and Identity Foucault believed that power is never in any one person?s hands, it does not show itself in any obvious manner but rather as something that works its way into our imaginations and serves to constrain how we act. For example in the setting of a workplace the power does not pass from the top down; instead it circulates through their organizational practices. Such practices act like a grid, provoking and inciting certain courses of action and denying others.... [tags: Foucault Power Philosophy Essays]
1364 words (3.9 pages)
- Critical Reflection Paper 1 Summary Michael Foucault’s chapter titled Panopticism, analyzes how power has advanced in relation to surveillance. The chapter explores how when surveillance first evolved and how the King was the overall dictator and enforcer. The King held all the power and was capable of deciding what rules must be followed and the punishments that were associated with when the rules were disregarded. Punishment and torture was how the King choose to use his power. The King often turned to violence to deter people from committing crimes that he disproved of.... [tags: Prison, Michel Foucault, Panopticon]
1340 words (3.8 pages)
- Introduction Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman’s work was centralised around there two different concepts of how your identity is formed through the process of power and expert knowledge. This Essay will discuss the ideas of Michel Foucault who was a French Social Theorist. His theories addressed the relationship between power and knowledge and how both of these are used as a form of social control through society. The essay will look at Foucault’s work in The Body and Sexuality, Madness and Civilisation and Discipline and Punish which displays how he conceptualised Power and identity on a Marxist and macro basis of study.... [tags: analysis, michael foucault, erving goffman]
1988 words (5.7 pages)
- Foucault describes this power as a branch of technology. In “The Entire History of You” the technology is eerily close to where we are now. In fact, a recordable contact lens in being developed as we speak. Facebook has recently created a new feature in which you can go live, this means you can record, upload and receive comments, likes, or dislikes all in real time. You can then go back and re-watch your live broadcast as much as you’d like. This feature shows you at exactly what moment people reacted to your video.... [tags: Prison, Penology, Punishment, Michel Foucault]
1667 words (4.8 pages)
- Panopticism by Michel Focault Works Cited Not Included “Our society is not one of spectacle, but of surveillance; under the surface of images, one invests bodies in depth; behind the great abstraction of exchange, there continues the meticulous concrete training of useful forces; the circuits of communication are the supports of an accumulation and a centralization of knowledge; the play of signs defines the anchorages of power; it is not that the beautiful totality of the individual is amputated, repressed, altered by our social order, it is rather that the individual is carefully fabricated in it, according to a whole technique of forces and bodies.... [tags: Panopticism Michel Focault Essays Papers]
1238 words (3.5 pages)