Re: Foucault and Normativity

In-Reply-To: ORUNIX:owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx's message of 04-11-95 19:11

Kristin notes that Foucault doesn't say much about he types of operations
of resistance that are possible in various "power grids". For me,
this is not a gap in Foucault's work, for Foucault is not a philosopher
in the classic Platonic sense. He does not offer prescriptions like
"If you want to discover Beauty, Friendship, Truth, Freedom--do this."
This, for Foucault, is something we need to discover ourselves in our
local struggles, our local contexts. --How to resist? Don't look to
Foucault, Irigaray, or any canonical figures for guidance. What are
the weakest points in various power relations? Well, Foucault can
offer some strategies for identifying these.
One of the reasons I like Foucault as a social theorist is that
he is, in fact, a bit anarchistic: He does not lay down a political
agenda and tell people what they need to do politically to be good
Foucauldians. Rather, he offers strategies that can be used to
understand how power works in various social locations. The agenda
of resistance he leaves up to us, in our local battles. This, I think,
is a good example of how to avoid recapitulating hierarchical relations
in our modes of resistance to hierarchical social arrangements.

Miles Jackson


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