Foucault, Abnormal, p. From the careful analyses of the maneuvers of psychiatric power in the previous year’s lectures ()—with. The genealogy of the abnormal individual offered by Foucault, one linking Abnormal In Canguilhem’s view, monstrosity and the monstrous. Students of history usually encounter major thinkers in a condensed form. They may associate the name of Michel Foucault with the term medicalization or.

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Might we as feminists not applaud the effort to begin to regulate such pleasures, to explore their enmeshment with domination?

They may associate the name of Michel Foucault with the term medicalization or remember having learnt that sexual discourses are sites of power. In this sense, the hermaphrodite is also a monster. Foucault cites the experts to confirm that the exchange of money by adolescent boys for sexual favors from girls was a regular feature of the social landscape in the village ofucault this time.

Foucault 5/ Introducing *Abnormal* () – Foucault 13/13

Students of history usually encounter major thinkers in a condensed form. June 18, at Valerio Marchetti, Antonella Salomoni, trans. Reversal of their Historical Importance pp.

In Abnormal Foucault traces two genealogical lines of descent that culminate in the figure of the abnormal individual–a history of psychiatry and of its increasingly powerful role in medico-legal judgment; and a history of sexuality from the emergence of Christian confessional practices to the nineteenth-century crusades against masturbation in children. By sidestepping conventional understandings of historical agency and narrative sequence, Foucault the genealogist carves out historically situated, interconnected configurations.

From the vantage point of this volume, some of Foucault’s grand formulations in his better known book publications qualify as condensations of arguments he developed more extensively in lectures like the ones published in Abnormal. Inhermaphrodites were punished just for existing yhe burnt alive.

Book Review

Susan Hekman Penn State Press, This is also a change in the idea of monstrosity: Thus Foucault reiterates the claim made in Discipline and Punish that penal psychiatry is situated within a rule-governed network of power and knowledge–a historical context characterized by the spread of disciplinary and normalizing techniques.


Because of this, she chose to wear boys clothes and she moved to another town and got married. No longer is it a mix of two sexes, it becomes an eccentricity, or kind of imperfection. This is why this text is indispensable reading for anybody interested in the history of medicine, psychiatry, sexuality, or the fluctuations of Foucault’s thinking. While many of the analyses of these documents are more suggestive and exploratory than definitive, they are suggestive enough that they are likely to stimulate further genealogical research.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Course by course, tapes of Foucault’s lectures are currently being edited and translated into English, complete with markers of oral delivery.

In an attempt then to discover the origins of our deficiencies and our discontents in the domain of the sexual, we decided at an early point in our research to focus our study on our relationships to our bodies and to their development. Email required Address never made public.


The eighteenth-century anti-masturbation campaign served as both a precursor and a model for nineteenth-century psychiatry. Were these sexual exchanges really inconsequential, petty, let alone pleasurable for the young girl in the story? After all, the point of genealogy is not to endorse the past, but to interrogate the present. On the one hand, the discussion in Abnormal is helpful insofar as it emphasizes the historical transformation from a criminal psychiatry oriented toward identifying a psychological illness, a pathological interlude, to one oriented toward identifying a permanent, congenital condition of abnormality, an arrested development marked by an inability to control his sexual tendencies.

The motiveless crime served, so Foucault argues, as a motor for the development of early criminal psychiatry. Taking over the asylum: Yet Foucault doesn’t feel compelled to address Sophie’s fate at all. His works on sexuality, madness, the prison, and medicine are enduring classics.

The question was, how can you let one go free and punish the other? Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: The Marie Lemarcis Case pp.

Foucault’s rhetoric suggests that he might be inclined to say yes. Anne Grandjean was baptized as a girl, but on her 14th birthday began to desire other women. While his command of nineteenth-century forensic literature is impressive, his familiarity with medieval predecessors to the early modern phenomena he describes at some length is spotty.


Thus in him we see combined the figure of the monster, the onanist, and the incorrigible individual.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. And this failure to address her fate, coupled with his suspicion anormals Sophie was in some sense not even rapeable, undermines the critical effect of his own discourse on abnormality. Three Figures that Constitute the Domain of Abnormality pp. The second Foucault recounts as follows:. Indeed, this was one of their principle purposes.

Reviewed by Helmut Puff. A critical apparatus provides relevant bibliographical citations and cross-references to Foucault’s other writings. Instinct is now used to explain sexual tendencies, an unbounded realm of pleasure, that can easily “escape the heterosexual and exogamous norm.

The case of a mother eating her own child, for example, required the expert to explain how an hte could have behaved so inexplicably; he alone came to command the expertise to detect in a person what remained hidden to non-experts.

Between andFoucault’s public courses evolved foucaukt a series of interconnected themes: Is it possible that with more feminist sensitivity he would have been more inclined to say what I wish he had said either, “It’s not entirely aabnormals or nothing at all about the banality of moment before Jouy is rendered pathological? After being exposed, she was brought to court and examined on charges of profaning the sacrament of marriage.

National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The second Foucault recounts as follows: The volume is eminently readable.

In short, Foucault claims that the abnormal individual represents a strategic synthesis of three figures only two of which receive treatment in these abnormaos