Sex, Gender and the Body: Cross-Cultural Approaches to
the Body, Gender, Sexuality and Kinship
ANTH2170 – Fall/Winter 2011/2012 – Karen McGarry
Lecture 5 – The Disciplined Body – Oct 05
Foucault’s Main Ideas:
- Focus on production of particular types of bodies – docile bodies.
o Production – he is interested in different sorts of identities are produced
because bodies are shaped by cultures, they are not natural entities.
- Discipline as by-product of modernity. To what extent are ideas of discipline
applicable within ‘non-western’ contexts?
o Different techniques of constructing the body into a docile body.
- Panopticism as a metaphor for one of the ways discipline works in modernity.
o Constantly monitored and watched, and managing their space and time
through the design and architecture of the panopticon.
- We naturalize discipline.
o We tend to not notice that we are disciplined.
- What are some ideals (normative ideas) of femininity within our society?
o Nurtures, thin bodies, emotional, limited space (women are not supposed
to take up that much space – cross legs, etc.), upholding an attractive
- What about masculinity?
o Aggressive, less emotional, athletic.
- How might this be different from ideals of femininity in other societies?
Foucault and Gendered Identities:
- Sandra Bartky – argues that idealized femininity predicated upon disciplined