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The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction (The History of Sexuality #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  14,920 Ratings  ·  606 Reviews
Michel Foucault offers an iconoclastic exploration of why we feel compelled to continually analyze and discuss sex, and of the social and mental mechanisms of power that cause us to direct the questions of what we are to what our sexuality is.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published 1990 by Vintage (first published 1976)
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Dec 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody whatsoever
This is a perfect example of the kind of writing characterised by Clive James as prose that ‘scorns the earth for fear of a puncture’. Foucault may be able to think – it's not easy to tell – but he certainly can't write.

Everywhere there is an apparent desire to render a simple thought impenetrable. When he wants to suggest that the modern world has imposed on us a great variety in the ways we talk about sex, he must refer to ‘a regulated and polymorphous incitement to discourse’. When he advance
Ahmad Sharabiani
La volonte de savoir = The Will to Knowledge, Michel Foucault
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه اکتبر سال 2004 میلادی
عنوان: اراده به دانستن؛ میشل فوکو؛ مترجمها: نیکو سرخوش، افشین جهاندیده؛ تهران، نشر نی؛ 1383؛ در 183 ص؛ شابک: 9789643127176؛ چاپ هشتم: 1392؛ موضوع: تاریخ -- رفتار جنسی قرن 20 م
ا. شربیانی
May 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays-theory
The History of (my) Sexuality:

At age five, I developed an affection for my babysitter. It is unclear if this was at all latent to any form of sexuality, merely friendship, or the product of society's exertion of power over my perceptions in regard to sexuality which taint the ideas I have of childhood relations through the lens of my memories.


At a young age I had a recurring nightmare which kept me often awake, that my father was chasing me around a tundra, riding a polar bear. It is unclear
Asam Ahmad
Aug 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The History of Sexuality is not really a history of sexuality. It is rather a genealogical study of a specific historical, political & discursive construction called ‘sexuality’ – a construction that has been deployed since its inception to police bodies and to service the social, political & economic exigencies of power.

Foucault begins by questioning why we so ardently believe that our sexuality is repressed – why we think 'confessing our sex' is a liberatory or even revolutionary acti
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
قد لا يكون لدي الكثير للإحاطة و وصف هذا الكتاب المحنك. لكن علي أن أشير لأكثر النقاط التي أثارت دهشتي.

أولها كانت في منهجية فوكو في معالجة موضوع الجنسانية و الجنس( وهما بالتأكيد أمرين مختلفين؛ حيث تشير الأولى للمنظومة الخطابية و الفكرية التي نمت حول قضية الجنس، أما الأخرى فتشير للغريزة الإنسانية البحت ) فهو يعمل بشكل تأريخي توليفي في تحليله لخلق الأفكار، فنجده يزاوج أو يربط بين السلطة و المعرفة و المتعة، أو الجنس/القمع، أو السلطة/المتعة، أو المعرفة/المتعة. من جهة أخرى، لغة فوكو تطفح أدبية و سلاسة
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing, esp. after reading a masterpiece like Discipline and Punish. This book consists of a serious of loosely connected, and individually incomplete meditations on various topics, that are intended to serve (not very successfully, imo) as a prolgomena to a history of sexuality. Indeed, the project was abandoned (what was eventually publishd as vols. 2-3 was part of a newly and differently conceived project begun several years later), proving that the current work was a failure.

It shoul
Feb 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theorish
um. what can i say about this book that hasnt already been said? i read it my second year of college and it blew my mind, and in a good way, unlike kant, who made me cry actual tears in overwhelming frustration. foucaults ability to trace the burgeoning relationship between science and sexuality, the changes in the ways of perceiving a womans body, the notion of the creation of (a) sexuality, and, of course, the dynamics of power and discourse, are nothing short of brilliant in this classic stud ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: أخرى
دراسة تاريخية تحليلية تناولت كيفية تشكل معرفة الجنس منذ القرن السابع عشر حتى العصر الحديث ، وكيف تضاعفت النقاشات التي جعلته موضوعاً لها ( دخول الظواهر الخاصة بحياة الجنس البشري إلى سياق المعرفة والسلطة.) وعن الأسباب التي جعلتنا نعطي قيمة تكاد تكون خرافية للحقيقة التي كانت تظن بأنها تنتجها.
إضافة إلى علاقة السلطة بالجنس ودورها في تمكين ضلالات منهجية كمزلق من مزالق إرادة الوصول إلى الحقيقة. كما يطوف فوكو عبر مواقف وخلفيات الاقتصاد والمعرفة ودورها في خلق مفاهيم وتاريخ المجتمع في مجال الجنسانية. مع ع
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ακατάσχετη φλυαρία, παλιλλογία και κενολογία.
Stef Rozitis
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction-tbr
I was unsure how many stars to give it, but after reading the critiques of it by some readers I need to give it a lot of stars because the critiques just don't make sense. It does lose a star from this subjective and biased reader for consistantly using terms like "man" and "men" for humans even though there IS an awareness of misogyny in the history. I do think the author could have worded that better (quite probably I have the translator to blame).

This book is hard to understand, densely and c
Jan 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
A much more difficult Foucault - and not nearly as interesting as his history of madness. He seems to take a long time to get started and does seem to repeat himself an awful lot.

All the same, the ideas around the difference between Western and Eastern notions of sexuality are well with thinking about. Essentially Eastern sexuality is an erotic thing - something understood through experience. Western sexuality is 'scientific' in the sense that it only makes sense once we can talk about it.

Kristen Shaw
In the words of my professor, "we're living in a post-Foucauldian world, so this will seem really self-evident, but that doesn't mean its right." Coming from that angle, I've been reading from a very critical position. I like Foucault's thesis and his examination seems pretty exhaustive, at least historically. I'm really caught on the discussion of the bourgeoisie and proletariat 'sexual bodies.' Foucault's statement that the technology of sexuality and proliferation of sexual power discourses w ...more
Sarvenaz Taridashti
در نمایشگاه کتاب تهران سال 1394 با افشین جهان دیده ملاقات کردم. ایشان شناخت خوب و نسبتا کاملی نسبت به فوکو دارند و ترجمه هایشان هم کم از عالی ندارد. بی شک شناخت ایشان به کمک ترجمه های خوبشان آمده!
کتاب در مورد سکس و ...است.
Jun 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: sexology, philosophy
Reassessed, in light of re-reading Gender Trouble: Author lays down the gauntlet against received wisdom that sexual liberty was destroyed by “the monotonous nights of the Victorian bourgeoisie” (3), wherein “silence became the rule,” “a single locus of sexuality was acknowledged in social space,” and “proper demeanor avoided contact with other bodies and verbal decency sanitized one’s speech” (id.). In this system of “taboo, nonexistence, and silence” (5), there was surreptitious transfer of “ ...more
Ali Ben
May 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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,
May 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ازپایان سده شانزدهم بدین سو، "به گفتمان درآوردن" سکس نه از فرایند محدودیت، بلکه برعکس از سازوکار تحریک فزاینده تبعیت می کند، که نشان می دهد تکنیک های قدرتی که بر سکس اعمال می شود، نه از اصل انتخاب سختگیرانه، بلکه از اصل انتشار و اشاعه سکسوالیته های چند ریختی تبعیت می کند و نشان می دهد که اراده به دانستن دربرابر تابویی رفع ناشدنی متوقف نشده است، بلکه برساخت علمی از سکسوالیته اصرار داشته است. ...صفحه20
Najla Hammad
الكتاب صعب ولم تعجبني طريقة ميشيل فوكو في شرح أفكاره، وكان بإمكانه أن يكون أكثر وضوحًا واختصارًا..لا أدري إن كانت هذه طريقته أو أن الترجمة (دار التنوير) هي من أوحت لي بذلك.
يشرح فوكو في هذا الكتاب كيف أن الجنس في الغرب منذ ظهور البرجوازية الفيكتورية يُعامل كأمر خاص بين الزوجين الشرعيين أما مايقع خارج هذا النطاق فهو تحت "القمع"، لكن مع تطور الرأسمالية اتجه الفيكتوريون من "الصنف الآخر" إلى مسارات أخرى كبيوت الدعارة والطبيب النفسي. وبعدها ظهر فرويد في العصر الحديث -بعدما كان الأطباء النفسيون يعتذرون
فکر کنم خوندن این کتاب بیش از هر کتاب دیگری توی زندگیام طول کشیده باشه. حجم زیادی نداشت اما بهنوعی بین هر بار برداشتن و ادامهی مطالعه ماهها فاصله میافتاد و مجبور میشدم دوباره قسمتهای قبلی رو بخونم تا یادم بیاد چی به چی بود.
نثر کتاب گاهی زیادی خشک و خستهکننده میشد که در چنین کتابهایی عجیب نیست. برگردان بعضی از واژهها هم به گوش ناآشنا بود و همین باعث میشد خوندن و فهمیدن مطلب سختتر بشه.
فوکو در این کتاب سعی داره بعضی از باورهای اشتباه ما در مورد سامانهي سکسوالیته رو اصلاح کنه و از خواننده میپرسه چ
Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Membaca buku ini pas dengan momennya. Karena seperti kita ketahui bersama, beberapa minggu terakhir ini, kita bisa menyaksikan betapa kekuasaan mampu menggapai, menembus dan mengontrol individu sampai pada kenikmatan-kenikmatan yang paling intim. Tanpa perlu saya sebutkan siapa aktor individu tersebut, kita dipahamkan dari peristiwa ini, bahwa di seputar hubungan intim itu telah dibangun perlengkapan serta mesin untuk memproduksi kebenaran. Artinya seks ternyata bukan hanya masalah sensasi denga ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
اولین کتاب جدی بود که از فوکو میخوندم و خب طبیعی بود که ادبیاتش برای من ناآشنا باشه. البته پیش زمینه فلسفی هم به سخت تر شدن متن کتاب کمک کرده

روایت جالبی از اندیشیدن درباره سکس و ماهیت مفهومیش داره که برای من به عنوان یک مخاطب مذهبی جالب بود. اینکه فیلسوفان غربی دنبال ارائه فهم متناسبی از سکس با شرایط روز جامعه هستند، دقیقا حسادت برانگیزه؛ چرا در داخل چنین مساله ای مطرح نمیشه
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
فوکو در کتاب اراده به دانستن ابتدا به تبارشناسی سکسوالیته می پردازد. که در سده ی هفدهم نوعی رک گویی در اعمال جنسی متداول بود. ولی در دوران ویکتوریایی سکسوالیته محبوس شد در خانوادها و تولیدمثل. و همین سرکوب ها باعث ریاکاری جامعه و دادن امتیازهای مثل روسپی خانه ها، بیمارستان های روانی شد.

ولی سده ی هجدهم جامعه با تنوعی از گفتمان های درباره سکس مواجه شد. کم کم صحبت از سکس و لذت های آن به یک الزام تبدیل شد. در قرون وسطی این الزام در قالب اعتراف بود. و در قرون جدید در قالب روانشناسی و پزشکی.

فوکو معتقد
Spyros Passas
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A popular quote goes by: "everything is about sex, except sex; sex is about power". While this can be interpreted in many ways, one of the most interesting approaches is the one presented in this book.

Foucault investigates not so much the history (if you're looking for a historiographical view of sex, this is not the book for you) but a -post- structuralist genealogy of sex; a study of the lineage and evolution of sexuality the last four centuries, examined under the dominant notion of Power.

Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cuando me recomendaron leer a Foucault vinieron con un aviso: Gastón, mirá que te va a cambiar la cabeza. Hay un antes y un después de leerlo. Lo bueno es que no se equivocaron.

Este es el primer tomo de lo que llamó La historia de la sexualidad que bien podría llamarse de otra forma porque de historia tiene poco. Es una mezcla entre estudio sociológico y ensayístico sobre el sexo. Explica la formación e imposición de los discursos en Occidente, cómo las ideas mutan o cambian y cómo se cree en la
Jen Seman
Sep 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
After reading this, I can't read anything else without seeing his influence. The relationships between power/knowledge and the construction of sexuality...he turns assumptions upside down and offers a different way of interpreting events, especially commonly held ideas about power relationships. For example, he dismisses the idea that victorian values repressed sexuality. He would insist that just the opposite is true - that the Victorian age offered multiple sites and institutions which increas ...more
Erik Graff
Feb 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Foucault fans
Recommended to Erik by: Karen Engdahl
Shelves: history
I read this while visiting friends in Springfield, Vermont, mostly on their porch and outside the town's sole cafe. The reading occurred after the completion of Norman O. Brown's Life Against Death, another book concerned with the liberatory and repressive potentials of sexuality.

My intellectual interest in sex stems in part from the recognition of how references to it are used to manipulate. Advertising is a conspicuous example, but the manipulatory sexualization of society is far broader and m
May 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Foucault's "History of Sexuality" was assigned twice over the course of my semester; for one class, our theme is the intersection between queer and race theories; for the other, a strict literary (theory) methods foundation. As such, we discussed the text in two very different ways for each of the classes, with one debate focusing largely on the absence of race in Foucault's history; the other, on conceptions of power in the text, and their relation to Foucault's "What Is an Author?" Nevertheles ...more
Nuno Ribeiro
Neste primeiro volume, Foucault faz a ligação entre a Grécia e o Cristianismo, assegurando-se que não reforça a ideia de uma ruptura cultural, que não terá existindo, visto que uma cultura terá herdado a outra e a partir dela evoluído, nem a de uma transição suave, que também não aconteceu, segundo o autor.

A cristandade trouxe de facto mudanças profundas. Mas elas aconteceram ao longo de séculos. A própria condenação do amor dos rapazes vai sendo gradual e começa ainda nos gregos, no final do p
Ahmed Almawali
الطقس القرائي:-
تاريخ الجنسانية من الكتب الصعبة، العميقة، التي تحتاج لقراءة تحليلية خالصة، خصوصا لمن لم يتعود على أسلوب هوجو. الإشكالية التي خبرتها أن الإنقطاع عن قراءة الكتاب وكثرة تجزيئه لوحدات صغيرة يضر أكثر مما ينفع، ويخلق تشتتا في ذهن يحتاج إلى ترابط من الأفكار، ولو لم يكن ثم ملاحظات دونتها عن بعض الأفكار وما فهمته أثناء القراءة لشردت وتبخرت.

- تطور الخطاب عن الجنس في القرن السابع عشر وما يليه، كان حينها حذر، ولا يُتحدث عنه إلا في حدود النصيحة (كنيسة، مدرسة). تبِعَ هذا الخطابَ الصامتَ الحذرَ
Mai Abdulwahab
"السلطة توجد في كل مكان، ليس لانها تشكل كل شيء، وانما لانها تأتي من كل مكان.أما ال سلطة بما تحتويه كشيء دائم، متكرر، جامد، ذاتي- الإنتاج ، فليست سوي مفعول المجموع الذي يرتسم انطلاقا من كل هذه الحركيات،التسلسل الذي يعتمد علي كل واحدة منها ويحاول بالمقابل تثبيتها.
"السلطة ليست مؤسسة، ولا هي بنية، انها ليست قوة معينة قد تكون وقفا علي البعض: بل انها الاسم الذي نمنحه لوضعية إستراتيجية معقدة في مجتمع معطي."
بعد هذا النص لك ان تتخيل مدي تركيب وعمق أفكار هذا الكتاب الصغير الحجم ولكن مليء بالاشكالات المتع
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sexuality 1 41 Aug 31, 2011 09:04AM  
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Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas. He held a chair at the Collège de France with the title "History of Systems of Thought," and lectured at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Berkeley.

Foucault is best known for his critical studies of social institutions, most notably psychiatry, medicine, the human sciences and the prison sys
More about Michel Foucault

Other books in the series

The History of Sexuality (3 books)
  • The History of Sexuality, Volume 2: The Use of Pleasure
  • The History of Sexuality, Volume 3: The Care of the Self
“Where there is power, there is resistance.” 393 likes
“There is not one but many silences, and they are an integral part of the strategies that underlie and permeate discourses.” 37 likes
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