Self-Transformations : Foucault, Ethics, and Normalized Bodies Paperback / softback
by Cressida J. (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University Heyes
Part of the Studies in Feminist Philosophy series
Paperback / softback
- Other Formats
Heyes' monograph in feminist philosophy is on the connection between the idea of "normalization"-which per Foucault is a mode or force of control that homogenizes a population-and the gendered body.
Drawing on Foucault and Wittgenstein, she argues that the predominant picture of the self-a picture that presupposes an "inner" core of the self that is expressed, accurately or not, by the outer body-obscures the connection between contemporary discourses andpractices of self-transformation and the forces of normalization.
In other words, pictures of the self can hold us captive when they are being read from the outer self-the body-rather than the inner self, and we can express our inner self by working on our outer body to conform.
Articulating this ideawith a mix of the theoretical and the practical, she looks at case studies involving transgender people, weight-loss dieting, and cosmetic surgery.
Her concluding chapters look at the difficult issue of how to distinguish non-normalizing practices of the self from normalizing ones, and makes suggestions about how feminists might conceive of subjects as embodied and enmeshed in power relations yet also capable of self-transformation. The subject of normalization and its relationship to sex/gender is a major one in feminist theory; Heyes' book is unique in her masterful use of Foucault; its clarity, and its sophisticated mix of the theoretical and the anecdotal.
It will appeal to feminist philosophers and theorists.
Out of Stockmore expected soon
- Format:Paperback / softback
- Pages:176 pages
- Publisher:Oxford University Press Inc
- Publication Date:23/08/2007