An analysis of foucaults views on law and social theory

Additionally, as Foucault noted in his lectures, through the history of sexuality b, p. In response to this criticism, Moya Lloyd suggests that it is Foucault's earlier notion of genealogy as critique which allows us to distinguish between autonomous practices of the self and technologies of normalization.

In the former moment, knowing yourself meant that there is a correspondence between what one says and what one does. Foucault lived in exile in Sweden in to escape the restrictions that entrapped him Eribon,p.

When doctors invented a society of normality, codes cease to govern society and were replaced by "the permanent distinction between what is normal and abnormal, and the perpetual task of restoring the system of normality" Foucault,p.

law and power

The effect of this dissociation is that the sexed body comes to be seen as irrelevant to an individual's gendered cultural identity. Following Foucault, Sawicki argues that the problem with this notion of emancipation is that it does not go far enough: 'Reversing power positions without altering relations of power is rarely liberating.

In Discipline and Punish he describes the way in which the central technique of disciplinary power - constant surveillance - which is initially directed toward disciplining the body, takes hold of the mind as well to induce a psychological state of 'conscious and permanent visibility' Foucault

Law and power

Foucault used this method to construct a history of sexuality because through this history it was possible to analyse the relations of an order in which knowledge and power are thoroughly complicit. It designates the collection of all material traces left behind by a particular historical period and culture. He saw it as part of his task, to make people aware of how intolerable some previously taken-for-granted exercises of power actually were and show them that things could be different. For example, the psychological entity of the author and the use of the author as a way of organising texts are two different things and need to be treated separately. The most commonly cited feminist objections center around two issues: his view of subjectivity as constructed by power and his failure to outline the norms which inform his critical enterprise. Thus, Foucault's work on ethics can be linked to his concern to counter domination, that is, forms of power that limit the possibilities for the autonomous development of the self's capacities. Increasingly, however, this assumption is being called into question by other feminists who are concerned to counter what they regard as the oversimplified conception of power relations this view entails, as well as its problematic implication that women are simply the passive, powerless victims of male power. The idea of practicing freedom is central to Foucault's exploration and analysis of the ethical practices of Antiquity. Disciplinary technologies are particularly effective forms of social control because they take hold of individuals at the level of their bodies, gestures, desires and habits to create individuals who are attached to and, thus, the unwitting agents of their own subjection. Nancy Fraser argues that the problem with Foucault's claim that forms of subjectivity are constituted by relations of power is that it leaves no room for resistance to power. Against the claim that feminist politics is necessarily an identity politics, Butler suggests that: 'If identities were no longer fixed as the premises of a political syllogism, and politics no longer understood as a set of practices derived from the alleged interests that belong to a set of ready-made subjects, a new configuration of politics would surely emerge from the ruins of the old' Butler In the context of this debate, Foucault's work on power has been used by some feminists to develop a more complex analysis of the relations between gender and power which avoids the assumption that the oppression of women is caused in any simple way by men's possession of power.
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Michel Foucault: Discourse