response to my post re: "why power?"

I'm responding on-list to the person who questioned my recent post

1) I never said any of the factors I mentioned explained all of
Foucault's thought. I said they contributed (as part of his social
location) to understanding why he was so interested in power. It would
be idle for me to speculate how much of a role each of them played, but
my suspicion is that they all did in some way. Being gay in a
heterosexist (or to use a more mild term if you prefer,
majority-heterosexual) society was one of those factors.

2) My statement about France applied to the content of my parenthesis
i.e. I know first-hand that particular French combination of intellect,
preoccupation with language, and use of power, just as you know
first-hand the characteristics of the culture in which you were raised
and, if you have thought about them, realize that in some way they have
influenced your thought and/or the thought of writers, philosophers,
artists, theologians, etc. from the same culture. Surely you will
admit culture is a factor in how people develop their ideas? Everyone has
a culture; it's not something one chooses initially. It doesn't mean
that culture, and the particular aspect of French culture I pointed out
(among many possible factors for his interest in power, see above and see
my previous post) that it unlocks all of Foucault's thought. I wrote
that this particular combo of factors affects one's understanding of
power, inevitably. When I was in France in May of 1968 as a student and
the CRS, a National Guard-like police force (the analogy is not exact,
someone help me out there) were beating up students, this affected my
understanding of power. It was one factor among many, which added itself
to many others, layer upon layer -- and these layers of experience,
thought and feeling in us are always porous and in communication with
one another. When Foucault was in Tunisia around the same time, in the
1960s, and surrounded by the ferment of post-colonial struggle, surely
this experience layered itself upon his already existing experiences of
his own sexuality, French culture, psychiatry, etc.

Nuff said.

I was simply trying to address Rich's question from the perspective of
one of my academic disciplines, because it seemed to me he asked us a
"why" question about origins (genealogy?) and we answered him with
descriptive theory.

Back to "The Order of Things."

Speaking of which, I don't have the post in front of me, but one of our
colleagues from Down Under posted what I thought was a thoughtful and
challenging response to the beginning of the book. I'm going to go
back and read it tomorrow when I'm more alert; I've archived it. (Then
I can thank you by name!) Many thanks for your insights.

Jane Redmont
Graduate Theological Union
Berkeley, California

* OLXWin 1.00b * Breathe. Take a deep breath.


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