Foucault and Feminism: Power, Gender and the Self

Foucault and Feminism: Power, Gender and the Self

by Lois McNay
     
 

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This book offers a systematic attempt to explore the point of convergence between feminist theory and the work of Michel Foucault. McNay argues that feminism has something to gain from a careful reading of Foucault's work, and that, in turn, the concerns of feminist analysis can shed light on some of the limitations of Foucault's approach.

McNay provides a clear

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Overview

This book offers a systematic attempt to explore the point of convergence between feminist theory and the work of Michel Foucault. McNay argues that feminism has something to gain from a careful reading of Foucault's work, and that, in turn, the concerns of feminist analysis can shed light on some of the limitations of Foucault's approach.

McNay provides a clear and concise account of the development of Foucault's work and then concentrates on his later writings, where he elaborates an original theory of the self. She shows how Foucault's work on the self can be used to counter certain tendencies in feminism, such as the tendency to treat women as passive victims of systems of oppression. However, McNay argues that there are also significant shortcomings in Foucault's writings, particularly with regard to normative and political questions. Re-examining Foucault's ambivalent relation to Enlightenment thought, she shows how this relation underlies some of the most significant ambiguities and unresolved tensions in his work.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is yet another addition to a growing body of literature on the French theorist that includes Jana Sawicki's Discipling the Body: Feminism, Power and the Body (Routledge, 1991), James Miller's The Passion of Michel Foucault ( LJ 1/93), Irene Diamond and Lee Quinby's Feminism and Foucault (Northeastern Univ. Pr., 1988), and Didier Eribon's Michel Foucault (Harvard Univ. Pr., 1991). Arguing against critics who believe that Foucault's notion of docile bodies is inadequate for feminist theory, McNay contends that the ethics of the self that emerges from Foucault's later work offers clear convergence between Foucauldian and feminist thought. McNay's detailed argument is often obscured by repetition and awkward writing, but her book offers an important counterpoint to feminist criticism of Foucault. The author, a research fellow at St. John's College, Oxford, has also provided a valuable bibliography. This book is recommended for academic libraries with large collections in critical theory.-- Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Westerville P.L., Ohio
From the Publisher
'Thought-provoking account.' Times Higher EducationSupplement

'Lois McNay has produced an attractively clear and criticalaccount of how feminists might use Foucault's last works.'Sociology

'It offers a clearly written and thorough, critical survey ofFoucault's last publications. This, in turn, is balanced by awide-ranging and equally critically review of recent developmentswithin contemporary feminist ethical theory. It is well worth theread!!' Women's Philosophy Review

'This is an excellent book, lucid, carefully argued,sympathetically critical and a great pleasure to read.' JeffreyWeeks, South Bank University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780745667836
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
04/23/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
File size:
0 MB

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