Question 2B – Essay Plan.
Foucault, Rubin and Butler.
Foucault and discourse.
Michael Foucault (926-84), philosopher, historian and activist was one of the most influential of thinkers whose work is generally categorised as poststructuralist. •
Foucault was a gay man who died of AIDS in 198, after his death his life and work were subject to a series of attacks which claiming to seek the ‘truth’ of Foucault work. •
His work and life, achievements and demonization’s, have made him a powerful model for many gay, lesbian and other intellectuals, and his analysis of the interrelationships of knowledge, power and sexuality was the most important intellectual catalyst of queer theory. •
Foucault studied discourse as a system of representation. •
He was interested in the rules and practices that produced meaningful statements which provided language for talking about a particular topic. •
Discourse is about the production of knowledge through language. •
The idea that discourse produces the objects of knowledge and that nothing which is meaningful exists outside discourse – we use the term discourse to emphasise the fact that every social configuration is meaningful. The concept of discourse isn’t about whether things exist but about where the meaning comes from.
Foucault and Queer
Foucault is not the origins of queer theory, nor is queer theory the destination of Foucault thinking. •
Given his interest in the history of sexuality and his radical denaturalisation on dominant understandings of sexual identity, Foucault is key post structuralism influence on the development of Queer theory. •
Foucault’s ‘History of Sexuality’ (1970) offered a powerful counter-narrative to the understanding of Victorian sexual repression giving way to liberation of the 20th C •
Vital feature of Foucault’s argument is that sexuality is not a natural feature or fact of human life but a constructed category of experience which has historical, social and cultural rather...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document