Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization

Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization

by Ladelle McWhorter

Hardcover

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Overview

Sexual identities are dangerous, Michel Foucault tells us. Categories of desire harden into stereotypes by which the forces of normalization hold us and judge us. In Bodies and Pleasures, Ladelle McWhorter reads Foucault from an original and personal angle, motivated by the differences this experience has made in her life. At the same time, her analysis advances discussion of key issues in Foucault scholarship: the genealogical critique, the status of the subject and humanism,
essentialism versus social construction, and the relationships between identity,
community, and political action. Weaving her own experience of coming to grips with her lesbian sexual identity into her readings of Foucault's most recent writings on sexuality and power, McWhorter argues compellingly that Foucault's texts should be read less for the arguments they advance and more for their transformative effect.
By exploring bodies and pleasures — gardening, line dancing, or doing philosophy,
for example — McWhorter shows that it isn't necessary to conform with socially recognized sexual identities. Bodies and Pleasures takes the reader beyond unexplored norms and imposed identities as it points the way toward a personal politics, ethics, and style that challenges our sexual selves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253335586
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 01/01/1999
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 9.45(w) x 6.30(h) x (d)
Lexile: 1320L (what's this?)

About the Author

Ladelle McWhorter is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Richmond. Her previous publications include an edited volume entitled Heidegger and the Earth: Essays in Environmental Philosophy and articles on Foucault, Bataille,
and feminist and queer theory. She grows her own tomatoes and is well known as a
line dancer.

Ladelle McWhorter is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Richmond. Her previous publications include an edited volume entitled Heidegger and the Earth: Essays in Environmental Philosophy and articles on Foucault, Bataille,
and feminist and queer theory. She grows her own tomatoes and is well known as a
line dancer.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations Introduction: Foucault's Impact: Challenges and Transformations Ch. 1: Views from the Site of Political Oppression: Or, How I served as an Anchor Point for Power and Emerged as a Locus of Resistance Ch. 2: Genealogical Diversions: Wherein the Ascetic Priestess Loses Her Way and Begins to Wander Aimlessly Through Dem Ole Cotton Fields Back Home Ch. 3: Why I Shouldn't Like Foucault... So They Say Ch. 4:
Disorientation: Or, Beyond Sex-Desire Ch. 5: Natural Bodies: Or, Ain't Nobody Here But Us Deviants Ch. 6: Self-Overcoming Through Ascetic Pleasures Ch. 7: Counterattack: An Ethics of Style Inconclusion Notes Index

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