Download e-book for iPad: A Foucault Primer: Discourse, Power and the Subject by Alec McHoul, Wendy Grace

By Alec McHoul, Wendy Grace

ISBN-10: 0203501128

ISBN-13: 9780203501122

Who're we this present day? That deceptively basic query persisted to be requested by way of the French historian and thinker, Michel Foucault, who for the final 3 many years has had a profound impact on English-speaking students within the humanities and social sciences.; this article is designed for undergraduates and others who believe wanting a few counsel while coming to grips with Foucault's voluminous and intricate writings. rather than facing them chronologically, notwithstanding, this publication concentrates on a few of their imperative options, basically Foucault's rethinking of the kinds of "discourse", "power", and " the subject".; Foucault's writings give a contribution jointly to what he himself calls "an ontology of the present". His ancient examine was once continually geared in the direction of exhibiting how issues might have been and nonetheless can be another way. this can be in particular the case with admire to the creation of human subjects.


“A always transparent, finished and available advent which rigorously sifts Foucault’s paintings for either its strengths and weaknesses. McHoul and charm convey an intimate familiarity with Foucault's writings and a full of life, yet serious engagement with the relevance of his paintings. A version primer.”
-Tony Bennett,author of outdoor Literature

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Extra resources for A Foucault Primer: Discourse, Power and the Subject

Sample text

Rivière is an interesting and instructive case when it comes to understanding how the modern criminal is produced. He was a multiple murderer, but one with whom the authorities had a problem. He was caught up in a number of ‘indecisions’ between two official discourses on punishment, roughly those of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The first involved forms of obvious and ritualistic public punishment of individual bodies. The second inaugurated 19 A Foucault Primer control of populations by putting them under constant watch, under the gaze of scientific surveillance.

Following Mitchell, they are interested in the social functions of language and often use (so-called) ‘naturally occurring’ samples of linguistic usage as data. Formalist discourse analysis is therefore very close to the disciplines known as socio-linguistics (Giglioli, 1982) and the ethnography of communication (Bauman and Sherzer, 1974; Gumperz and Hymes, 1972). Again, at other times, the formal approach is not called ‘discourse analysis’ but instead ‘text linguistics’ (or ‘text grammars’). This variation, rooted in the Russian Formalist school (Lemon and Reis, 1965), connects it to those various forms of French structuralism (Saussure, Lévi-Strauss and the early Barthes) to which Foucault’s (poststructuralist) treatment of discourse runs counter.

The job of the speech act theorist is to discover these. Hence paroles (actually performed utterances) are only a minor consideration and the primary focus is, instead, the discursive system underpinning them. This system is different from—but formally like—the langue 28 2 Discourse (the language system). Discourse becomes, effectively, a kind of grammar. As we will see, in his Archaeology of Knowledge Foucault specifically differentiates his conception of discourse from that of speech act theory and, indeed, from logical analyses which tend to consider language in terms of propositions.

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A Foucault Primer: Discourse, Power and the Subject by Alec McHoul, Wendy Grace

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