Foucault: Technologies of the Self(ie)

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  • Is the body constructed? If so, what does this mean?
    • Lecture 3: Bodies, Gender and Sexuality
      • Technologies of the Self(ie)
      • Contemporary Relevance: From Selfies, to protests
        • Conclusion: Power is Productive
  • ... And how Butler re-worked Foucault
    • Foucault: Focusing on his repressive hypothesis
      • Lecture 3: Bodies, Gender and Sexuality
        • Technologies of the Self(ie)
        • Contemporary Relevance: From Selfies, to protests
          • Conclusion: Power is Productive
  • What does it mean to say the body is constructed?
    • Traditionally bodies have been labelled as 'natural' and 'biological'
      • We used to historically classify bodies easily..
        • Poststructuralists in 1970 however became influential, and challenged idea's of the "natural"
          • Now, for a number of individuals, even bodies seem to be culturally constructed by particular practices..
            • E.g - Em Rata's body. Less than 17% of women in the USA are able to attain an alike body type due to genetics.
    • Point One
  • Foucallt:
    • Point Two
    • Foucault contrasts with Marxist understanding of ideology, as he believe's it masks the fundamental economic reality.
      • Foucalt understand's history as a history of class struggles. As power comes from everywhere - Not just the economic base
        • Foucalt see's power as relational, therefore it is context specific, and can emerge from situated relations
          • Different periods of history have different powder relations, and therefore use different tools to administer such relations (e.g feeding into art/selfies)
  • Foucault contrasts with Marxist understanding of ideology, as he believe's it masks the fundamental economic reality.
    • Foucalt understand's history as a history of class struggles. As power comes from everywhere - Not just the economic base
      • Foucalt see's power as relational, therefore it is context specific, and can emerge from situated relations
        • Different periods of history have different powder relations, and therefore use different tools to administer such relations (e.g feeding into art/selfies)
  • Marx: Ideology masks the economic reality!!!!!!!!!
  • vs.
  • Reminder One:
  • 1. Feudalism
    • the dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, peasants (villeins or serfs) were obliged to live on their lord's land and give him homage, labour, and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection.
  • Point Three:
  • Foucault argues that we think sex/sexuality have become repressed since the victorian period (and have become more liberated as a result) However, we've found more subtle ways to discuss sex, and new knowledge of sex has emerged, creating noew forms of "regulation"
    • Historical Narrative: Victorian era sought to repress sexuality, but since then we've become increasingly liberated.
    • Knowledge/Power: We can't seperate these terms as they work in conjunction with one another.
    • Key Argument in the History Of Sexuality - Foucalt: The Repressive Hypothesis
  • There's an increasing number of discourses about sex
  • There's an institutional incitement to speak more about it, therefore it has accumulated in detail.
    • At the heart of this economic and political problem of population was sex: it was necessary to analyze the birthrate, the age of marriage, the legitimate and illegitimate births, the precocity and frequency of sexual relations
      • Key Point: Power is not repressive, but productive. Shown through the body itself, as an object of knowledge and regulation.
        • Example: Selfies as a Productive
  • Steps to a selfie: applying foundation, straightening hair, creating lighting, holding phone angle etc.
    • Look at the technologies necessary to produce a selfie
      • These theoretical approaches emphasise the tools we use to CONSTRUCT IDENTITY
    • Example: Selfies as a Productive
  • Developed Foucault's arguments and practices to encourage certain performances of sex and gender
    • Second wave feminism: Gender is social... Sex is Biological!
      • Butler disagrees with this, as we always speak of sex in gendered terms!
        • KEY ARGUMENT: Sex and Gender are impossible to disentangle?
          • We may need a new vocabulary to diisentangle the complexity of the topic.
  • Performativity
    • Discourse
      • Repressive Hypothesis
        • Sex/Gender
    • Repressive Hypothesis
      • Sex/Gender

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