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

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  14,310 Ratings  ·  569 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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Warwick
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
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David
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
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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
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Suha
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
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AC
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
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y.
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
hayatem
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
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Panos
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ακατάσχετη φλυαρία, παλιλλογία και κενολογία.
Trevor
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.

Freu
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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
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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
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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.” 365 likes
“There is not one but many silences, and they are an integral part of the strategies that underlie and permeate discourses.” 36 likes
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