Ali Ben's Reviews > The History of Sexuality 1: An Introduction

The History of Sexuality 1 by Michel Foucault
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U_50x66
's review
Jun 02, 10

bookshelves: political-philosophy-theory, philosophy

Why one more review?

Reading our comrades' review, one is very surprised. First of all, many seem to think this book "outdated", which is quite surprising - towards Foucault's writings, the question probably is if we failed the test of time, rather than if he did...

More interesting, most seem to be deceived by the title, and assume this is a book about "sexuality".

Indeed, the discourse on sexuality (Victorian Era, confession, psychoanalysis, etc.) forms its background. The real subject, however, is power and the subject : this book was written just after Discipline and Punish where his thesis on power were already outlined.

As such, it contains Foucault's famous criticism of the sovereign theory of power. It also deeply contested the conception of power as being exclusively a censorship machine, which says what is right and what is wrong, what is legal and what is illegal. Power is also something which produces stuff - the last chapter on populations and nazism should be enough for readers to understand that this book is concerned with something much larger than "sexuality".
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