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Posted February 8, 2012
response to previous review
I have to disagree with the first reviewer's assesment. This volume is an introduction to a historical survey of "sexuality"; a good introduction in that it is sweeping, and magnanimous in it's theoretical implications. I'll just say the books premise turned me on; and I think Foucault adequately explains how the repressive hypothesis cannot account for the implosion of discourse on the subject of sexuality since its 18th, 19th century emergence in the fields of medicine, demography, and psychoanalysis. The deployment of sexuality, as Foucault points out, goes hand in hand with this "will to knowledge." If I may respond to the previous reviewer on one point: the idea is that power did not acknowledged the "masturbating child," before the 18th, an 19th centuries when a score of literature was published on how to curb his "unnatural" behavior. As a result it became increasingly "naturalized," and propelled a proliferation of discourse on the "masturbating child," so that we may now safely say we are at the point when power itself acknowledges the "masturbating child," without disavowing his behavior; this signals a significant shift in the strategy of power that Foucault is talking about in this brilliant, thought provoking introduction. But please read this book and not my lame account. His writing is very accessible, and his enthusiasm for the subject is infectious.
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Posted January 16, 2013
Posted March 17, 2010
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