Re: [Foucault-L] history of sexuality liberation

I don't think Foucault would have accepted the notion of liberation. Because
power is essentially maintained through discourses that are always
circulating there is no freedom from these discourses. Power is always
around us whether we are encouraging it or resisting it. The domination
models of power that the western world has accepted leaves room from freedom
from the top down oppression however Foucault's model of power implies that
discourses are circulating from bottom to top, top to bottom and side to
side. We are all adding to discourse and we can influence it in some ways
then but it even works to create our identities so much that their cannot be
liberation but rather I would say an awareness of how such power works. This
awareness would give one some room to bend but wouldn't free anyone,
regardless of position, from the discourses that shape how things are and
are perceived to rightly be.

John J Crandall
Outreach Coordinator, Pride Union
Syracuse University

-----Original Message-----
From: foucault-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:foucault-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of ??? jad
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2008 11:46 AM
To: foucault-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Foucault-L] history of sexuality liberation

I am writing to ask for your advise on an independent essay I have
assigned to do for my comparative literature course. The question I've
set myself is " 'theory has the capacity to liberate' discuss with
reference to Foucault's History of Sexuality 1 and Marx's Communist
Manifesto". For Foucault I'd suggest that his work is rather dubious
about the very notion of liberation. For me, HS1 is a coded critique
of the supposed liberatory force of self-disclosure in relation to
confession and speaking desire -- basically psychoanalysis. As such
Foucault's work is sceptical about the extent to which we can free
ourselves -- if we can't stand outside of the nexus of relations of
power-knowledge-subjectivity then for him liberation takes on a small
scale, local and tactical notion of resistance from within. In that
sense he'd be quite contrary to Marx, I'd have thought. Moreover, his
repressive hypothesis bears an uncanny resemblance to Marxist and
early feminist modes of thought that impose a repressor/repressed
dichotomy and a more simplified view of power. But how could I relate
Foucault and Marx further? I've also written a bit of how Marx's
theory had been appropriated by Lenin and abused by Stalin. How can I
like the abuse of theory to Foucault?
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    • From: Maureen Ford
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    [Foucault-L] history of sexuality liberation, جاد jad
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