Memo 1: due at the latest February 9th 2011
Memo = course readings meets current issue/media representation in the media
Memo 1: Apply a theory of sexuality to an issue you..
Heard (e.g radio)
Saw (e.g Internet, billboard etc.)
Read (e.g. magazine, internet etc.)
A memo is not a summary of readings or films
•Demonstrate general understanding of material
•E.g: what does the writer mean when s/he uses specific terms?
•What is the writer’s theoretical perspective?
•Your application of ideas and theories
•E.g: what examples’ does the writer use to illustrate her/his ideas and/or theory?
•Critical Analysis: combination of understanding the author’s main points (theory)
•How does this theory of sexuality helps us better understand your topic from the
•What does the theory not account for?
•What does the theory explain very well?
Structure, Agency and Discourse: Theorizing Sexualities through Foucault and
•Foucault is really examining POWER (sexuality is just one example of this)
•Power works through individuals, discourse
•Discourse has power in it
•Foucault: you’re not born gay, looked at prison systems, and mental health
•Not born a criminal or sane, happens through discourse
•Discourse: is a body of knowledge, speech, language, literature, conversations, ways
of representing or translating knowledge, music, media
•What is meant by the word ‘discourse’? a system of meaning, knowledge, and
inscribe the subjects, system of thought attitudes, beliefs and practices that
systematically subjects in the world of which they speak
•Foucault: same sex acts before modern period were just acts, men were having sex
with men, looked down upon by the church and law. It was just something people
did, just an act.
•Discourses are powerful because they are productive, power is positive in the sense
that it is productive
•Example of transformation from “act” to “identity” via discursive power
•How does Foucault link Science to the Confessional?
•“knowledge is power”—discursive “knowledge” that is deemed “truth” creates
“regimes of truth” (e.g. medicine designates homosexuality as an abnormal
development- a person whereas before sodomy was just am act)
•The confession becomes an integral part of modern science on sexuality (mostly
medicine/ psychiatry). It is a requirement for Foucault’s thoughts of sexuality.
•The Science of Sexuality:
•Science works as guise for morality (p.53)
•Science grounds ‘state racisms’ in ‘truth’ (p.54)
•Those acts that were deemed morally abnormal (sodomites) are now scientifically
and medically abnormal (a personage) (p.54)
•Two distinct forms of scientific knowledge:
•1. A biological of reproduction- Western scientific discourse
•2. A medicine of sex- derived from stubborn will to ‘nonknowledge’ (p.55)
•Two procedures for producing the truth of sex:
Memo 1: due at the latest february 9th 2011. Memo = course readings meets current issue/media representation in the media. Memo 1: apply a theory of sexuality to an issue you A memo is not a summary of readings or films. Structure, agency and discourse: theorizing sexualities through foucault and. Knowledge is power discursive knowledge that is deemed truth creates. Regimes of t ruth (e. g. medicine designates homosexuality as an abnormal development- a person whereas before sodomy was just am act: the confession becomes an integral part of modern science on sexuality (mostly medicine/ psychiatry). 65: confession becomes valid means of gathering scientific knowledge (via examinations, clinics etc) 2. confession of sex could get a root of our problems in our everyday lives since sex was seen as influencing every aspect of our lives. 3. unearthing a confession was needed because the person may not even now they need to confess.