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Lecture on Giddens & Foucault articles

University College Courses
Course Code
Lisa Byers

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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
Critical Analysis
Demonstrate general understanding of material
E.g: what does the writer mean when s/he uses specific terms?
What is the writers 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 authors 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: youre not born gay, looked at prison systems, and mental health

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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 powerdiscursive 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 Foucaults 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:
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