Read The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction by Michel Foucault Robert Hurley Online

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Michel Foucault offers an iconoclastic exploration of why we feel compelled to continually analyze and discuss sex, and of the social and mental mechanisms of power that cause us to direct the questions of what we are to what our sexuality is....

Title : The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction
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ISBN : 9780679724698
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 176 Pages
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The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction Reviews

  • Warwick
    2019-02-26 11:30

    This is a perfect example of the kind of writing characterised by Clive James as prose that ‘scorns the earth for fear of a puncture’. Foucault may be able to think – it's not easy to tell – but he certainly can't write.Everywhere there is an apparent desire to render a simple thought impenetrable. When he wants to suggest that the modern world has imposed on us a great variety in the ways we talk about sex, he must refer to ‘a regulated and polymorphous incitement to discourse’. When he advances the theory that the nineteenth century focused less on marriage than on other sexual practices, he talks about ‘a centrifugal movement with respect to heterosexual monogamy’. When there is only one of something he calls it ‘markedly unitary’.It almost becomes funny, except that it tells us something about how loosely his ideas are rooted in reality. Some people seem to think that complex prose must conceal a profundity of thought, but good readers and writers know that the reverse is usually the case. A thought which is impenetrable is not easily rebutted, and so it may only seem correct by default.For example, Foucault has the following idea: that talking more about sex is really an attempt to get rid of any sexual activity that isn't focused on having children. It wouldn't be hard to pick holes in that argument, partly because it uses terms we all immediately understand and which we can very quickly relate to reality. But Foucault puts the theory like this:For was this transformation of sex into discourse not governed by the endeavour to expel from reality the forms of sexuality that were not amenable to the strict economy of reproduction [...]?And you'll see from the square brackets that I've left half the sentence out! Here the argument is harder to refute, not because it's any stronger, but because it takes some effort to work out what the fucking hell the man is talking about.Where he cannot think of a roundabout way of saying something, Foucault instead opts for words which might at least slow his readers down a bit, like erethism. And if no suitably obscure word is at hand, he simply makes one up, so we get a lot of these ugly formations which the postmodernists seem to love, such as discursivity, genitality, or pedagogization.Here I should point out that from what I can tell, all of this complexity exists in the original French, and is not simply a fault in the translator (Robert Hurley, in my edition). In fact sometimes Rob helps us out a bit, such as when he translates the typical Foucaultism étatisation as the more helpful phrase ‘unrestricted state control’. But there's only so much he can do. If he'd put all of Foucault's prose into natural English the book would be a quarter of the size.On the few occasions when Foucault does deign to explain himself, he only makes matters worse. After several pages in which he makes much confusing use of the word ‘power’, he finally defines this vague term as the multiplicity of force relations immanent in the sphere in which they operate and which constitute their own organization; as the process which, through ceaseless struggles and confrontations, transforms, strengthens, or reverses them; as the support which these force relations find in one another, thus forming a chain or a system, or on the contrary, the disjunctions and contradictions which isolate them from one another; and lastly, as the strategies in which they take effect, whose general design or institutional crystallization is embodied in the state apparatus, in the formulation of the law, in the various social hegemonies.My point is not that Foucault makes the reader do unnecessary work, although that's certainly an inexcusable flaw in anyone who wants their view to be taken seriously: a reader should be working to engage with an argument, not having to rewrite the whole damn thing in his head as he goes along. No, my point is that Foucault not only confuses the reader, he confuses himself. Having decided, as a mathematician decides that x equals four, that ‘power’ equals a whole range of ‘force relations’, he then combines it with other comparably dense terms and juggles them around and puts them together until you have to at least suspect that the underlying reality has been lost to Foucault as well as to us.Evidence of his own confusion therefore seems built into the texture of his sentences. He calls the family unit, for instance, ‘a complicated network, saturated with multiple, fragmentary, and mobile sexualities’. The idea of multiple sexualities is fairly clear: an assertion that, for example, homosexuality and paedophilia play their part in family life along with heterosexuality. He offers no evidence for it, but at least it is a proposition we can examine. But what about fragmentary sexualities? What on earth is a fragmentary sexuality? Perhaps one which is in some way both hetero and homo? How does a fragmentary sexuality manifest itself in terms of behaviour or desire? There are no answers. And then we also have the ‘mobile sexualities’, which sounds like some kind of wonderful bus service but which presumably we are meant to understand as sexual feelings that keep changing. To deal with any one of these ideas is problematic. To deal simultaneously with all three, and then to imagine such concepts ‘saturating’ a ‘network’, is just not a serious argument – it's a huge act of intellectual masturbation.Anyone can play this game. The opposing view to Foucault's is the traditional idea that the Victorians were frightened and offended by their sexual feelings, and that consequently their society worked to repress sex. But if we wanted to protect the argument from attack we could easily rephrase it and say that the dominant narrative of Victorian social constructs was characterised by a repressive power projection whose motus was the twin stimuli of (psycho)logical terror and physiological disgust. This is harder to argue against, because it has less meaning. Similarly many of Foucault's arguments are, to paraphrase Wolfgang Pauli, so badly expressed that not only are they not right, they're not even wrong.

  • David
    2019-02-20 19:36

    The History of (my) Sexuality:At age five, I developed an affection for my babysitter. It is unclear if this was at all latent to any form of sexuality, merely friendship, or the product of society's exertion of power over my perceptions in regard to sexuality which taint the ideas I have of childhood relations through the lens of my memories.***At a young age I had a recurring nightmare which kept me often awake, that my father was chasing me around a tundra, riding a polar bear. It is unclear if this is relevant. Freud would argue that it is the only thing relevant.***My neighbor introduced me to the cult of onanism at the age of perhaps nine. He instructed me that it was the product of two fingers (index, ring). In my later adolescence, I accustomed myself to embrace with all five.***Throughout my childhood and well into my adulthood, I have made faster friendships with girls than with boys/men. Conversely, I have a closer relationship with my father than with my mother, though both are superficial.***My childhood friend, Sonny, came over my house. He is two years my senior. While watching Gone in 60 Seconds he unzipped his fly, supposedly for my inspection or praise. I have thought about it a number of times since. He was later incarcerated for I don't know what.***At approximately age 11, I have an extremely vague but sexually charged memory of my friend Shane, his sister, and his sister's friend. It is unclear if this is reality or a dream, or if intercourse in anyway occurred (either in dreamstate or reality).***Soon thereafter, though not in a cause-and-effect manner, the same friend slept over my house. Late at night we stripped and rolled about on the floor naked. Given my propensity for definitions, and perhaps gift of prophesy, I declared "this means we are gay now."***In eighth-grade became very attracted to a girl in my grade. My sexual imagination hinged upon the word and concept of "being enveloped." As I grew up, I still find her pretty.***In high school I accidently discovered gay pornography when Google-imaging "greek gods" - it soon became a quotidian experiment. Soon thereafter I was unable to sleep because I was haunted by the negatives of these images. Unable to banish the unclothed men from my imagination I was brought to prayer, then tears, and could not fall asleep until massaged by my father.***A brief period of anal fixation. An exercise in purchasing condoms. (approx. age: 14).***Throughout high school, sinned against myself late at night. Ruined a perfectly good carpet.***Lost a significant amount of weight. Became rather obsessed with my physical image.***Dabbled with the idea of internet hookup culture with men, out of the idea of experimentation. Always flaked.***In college I became affectionately attached to a woman two years my senior; quintessentially my identical in character, though perhaps in many ways my better. My unilateral romance culminated in a totally disastrous trip across the European continent, and a number of abandoned short stories and poems taking place on a rainy evening aside Lake Zurich. ***At age 21, I lose my virginity to Matt, a 28yr old with a Porsche and a dog, I have yet to find it again: it seems this loss is permanent. Disillusionment at Ten O'Clock.***A brief on-off sexual relationship with Craig, a 42yr old French teacher near my hometown, spanning from November 2012 to July 2013. Very kind and affectionate, attractive; mired by my own insecurities and dissimulation. His bedroom bore two large oil paintings in sepia: one of his lapdog, Luigi, the other (over the bed) of Madonna. Played Jazz during sex. Now living with a man, Tom, his own age.***In January 2013, I briefly dated Deryl. Prompted by our two-week relationship I come out to my friends and sister. I send a ultimatum via text after our break-up and never hear from him again. I attach myself to his coupled gay roommates.***A frenchman, Gael, who plays tennis, at his apartment one morning by the Sacre Coeur.***Said roommates try to initiate me into their bedroom. I refuse. I do not hear from them again, except for the one, Kevin, to tell me that I am an impossible candidate for true affection because of my tendency to dissimulate. (Association terminated: Aug. 2013).***I arrange a date with David N. to meet at a coffee shop. He never arrives, with no communication. I am devastated and leave. I later find out from him that he rushed home because his brother attempted suicide. We meet again and kiss, but I abandon conversation with him out of disinterest. ***In November I briefly attend to a relationship with David C. We go out a few times, he does not offer to pay for my theatre ticket, and he becomes frustrated at my disinterest in rushing along the physical aspect of our tenuous union. It dissolves.***On Veteran's Day 2013, I am unilaterally used sexually by Dan B. He abandons me for his ex-boyfriend, but uses me again the day after Thanksgiving. I hear from him intermittently in selfish bursts of desire, but we do not meet again intentionally.***I connect with David M. online in December 2013, and we meet just before the new year. We hit it off, but my forwardness chafes him. Silence for four months.***Match on Tinder and OKCupid with Matt C. No meeting occurs.***I dive into a brief symbiotic sexual relationship with Mike. Ends when I hear again from David M.***Attend to seeing David M. frequently for a month, but ends promptly when he begins to ignore and subjugate me to other plans, and is totally dissolved by Memorial Day.***In Istanbul, a man whose name I can't pronounce or write. As an experiment.***Blaise, a college student. Once, followed by a suffocating over-attachment, and liberating estrangement.***Cuddled two nights with Mike M., a collegiate bisexual nearby. No further.***David M. very briefly re-enters the scene. He invites me to go to the junkyard with him (a disgusting allegory for our relationship), and pays for my lunch. He makes no further efforts to see me, and I finally abandon all whims and whisperings I feel in relation to him.***Nick N., twice in one night, before his return to the Lone Star State.***A three-week relationship and true kinship with Sean. He is a wonderful match to me, and we get along wonderfully, but I feel something is missing sexually and/or physically. I ask if we can cool things down, on a rainy and cold Sunday afternoon, to which he assents, but which he interprets as a total break. We are now friends, I think. Did I make a mistake?***In November 2014, I attached myself to Will B. - the ex-boyfriend of Dan B. of the previous year, purely platonic but yet developed. Discover that he is also friends with Matt C. of January match this same year. Useful information.***Dan B. texts me out of the blue. I call him out for his ingenuousness. He does not respond.***Meet Matt I. The friend of a friend. Hit it off, and spend the night with him, though I was too drunk to remember particulars. He tells me that he will see me again, and I am waiting....Am I in love? —yes, since I am waiting. The other one never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn’t wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover’s fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.

  • Asam Ahmad
    2019-03-07 14:46

    The History of Sexuality is not really a history of sexuality. It is rather a genealogical study of a specific historical, political & discursive construction called ‘sexuality’ – a construction that has been deployed since its inception to police bodies and to service the social, political & economic exigencies of power. Foucault begins by questioning why we so ardently believe that our sexuality is repressed – why we think 'confessing our sex' is a liberatory or even revolutionary activity. Unlike most people writing in the 70’s, he did not think confessing the 'secrets' of our sex would lead to a revolutionary utopia in which we all live happily after. In the HoS he explores how the idea of sexuality functions – what uses this idea has for the discourse(s) of power/knowledge and how sexuality retains its (false) emancipatory sheen even as it services the needs of power in an increasingly subtle and insidious fashion. Before Foucault power had been conceived of as performing an almost entirely negative function: especially in relation to sex, the conventional wisdom held that power only had the power to say no, to censor, to deny. Power supposedly elided that which it wished to suppress (‘do not appear if you do not want to disappear’), and it had almost no 'productive' function. Foucault notes that on the contrary, since the 16th century, power has demanded instead that sex confess itself (beginning primarily but not exclusively in the form of the confessional) - and these confessions have been instrumental in creating the categories power wishes to police. Foucault shows that if to talk of sex as was done before was prohibited after the 16th century, not any less was said about it. On the contrary, ‘things were said in a different way; it was different people who said them, from different points of view, and in order to obtain different results’ (27). Sex was brought into new types of discourses: ‘not the rigor of a taboo, but the necessity of regulating sex through useful and public discourses’ (25). From the confessional, Foucault traces the beginnings of new forms of pedagogies and discursive practices: the codification of sex/desire into the field of rationality, the birth of the science of demography (along with demographic controls in the service of labor capacity), the medicalization of sex with all its pathologizing tendencies (the hysterization of women, the increased regulation of onanism, the intensification and normalization of the family unit and the discourse of marginal & 'perverse' sexualities). Clearly, all these discursive practices did not repress sex so much as incite it to discourse. This is where Foucault articulates his extremely influential notion of bio-power. In tangent with the rise of capital, the exigencies of power have changed and evolved considerably over the past three centuries. In 'Madness and Civilization' and 'Discipline and Punish' Foucault traces the development of power from a few sovereign points of contact with the general population to its sublimation into the entire field of social relations – power is concerned no longer simply with extracting taxes or punishing criminals, it is now in the business of administering life itself. This is a considerable shift – and in the HoS Foucault argues that the deployment of sexuality was indispensable to this shift. For the deployment of the idea of sexuality is not really about sex – it is about bodies: specifically the policing, managing and control of bodies (hence 'bio-power'). Sexuality is not a stubborn drive ‘disobedient to a power which exhausts itself trying to subdue it’ (103). It is rather an ‘especially dense transfer point for relations of power. [...:] Not the most intractable element in power relations, but rather one of those endowed with the greatest instrumentality: useful for the greatest number of maneuvers and capable of serving as a point of support, as a linchpin, for the most varied strategies’ (103). Just as the legal-judicial system is no longer content to simply punish the criminal for the crime s/he has committed - postulating instead the need for disciplining the individual's entire existential being - the deployment of sexuality makes sex no longer simply something one does, but rather something one is. This deployment thus allows the policing of bodies in a way that was unimaginable before the advent of this interlocking network of discursive practices. Foucault argues that our innermost 'identity' has been tied to sex not to emancipate us from power’s regulatory demands - but in order to service its most urgent tactical exigencies. Foucault's theory of power is clearly still incredibly relevant today (if not more so). The idea that power is productive, that it is exercised and not held, that it is immanent in all social relations, etc. seems to be the modus operandi of most regulatory mechanisms of power today (as well as being the foundation of almost all critical theory written since the 80's). This analytics of power is particularly useful in the post 9/11 era - where power has literally created and continues to create the categories necessary for the indefinite deployment of its hegemonizing, regulatory and disciplining technologies. Of course, there are still more than a few critiques I could make of this text: the irritating refusal to let go of the exclusionary use of the male pronoun, the scant mention of women aside from their hysterization under new power regimes, the tendency to make power seem totalizing and omniscient, the bizarre contrasting of the West's science of sexuality with the Other's (the orient's?) erotic art, and the refusal to trace a genealogy of the body or even question how the body itself is discursively constructed for the demands of power/knowledge. One could and should make all of these critiques. But regardless - this is one of those seminal texts that should be read by everyone interested in how power functions today.

  • Suha
    2019-02-26 13:26

    قد لا يكون لدي الكثير للإحاطة و وصف هذا الكتاب المحنك. لكن علي أن أشير لأكثر النقاط التي أثارت دهشتي.أولها كانت في منهجية فوكو في معالجة موضوع الجنسانية و الجنس( وهما بالتأكيد أمرين مختلفين؛ حيث تشير الأولى للمنظومة الخطابية و الفكرية التي نمت حول قضية الجنس، أما الأخرى فتشير للغريزة الإنسانية البحت ) فهو يعمل بشكل تأريخي توليفي في تحليله لخلق الأفكار، فنجده يزاوج أو يربط بين السلطة و المعرفة و المتعة، أو الجنس/القمع، أو السلطة/المتعة، أو المعرفة/المتعة. من جهة أخرى، لغة فوكو تطفح أدبية و سلاسة و في ذلك دور كبير لحمل ثقل الأفكار الكثيفة التي يعالجها.الشيء الأخر، توضيح الكاتب لمحيط بحثة و عدم ا لخوض في التعميمات الخرقاء، فهو يحدد معالجته لهذه الظاهرة في الثقافة الغربية فقط و في حدود فترة زمنية من القرون الوسطة تقريبا إلى القرن العشرين... موضحا أن قضية الجنسانية قد تكونت و تكاثرت تحت ظروف سياسية أقتصادية بأمتياز. فالمجتمعات البرجوازية قد قامت على مركب الجنس لدعم اقتصادها بخلق كثافة سكانية عاملة صحيحة البدن و طبقة سائدة ذات صحة خلقية و خلوقية (مضبوطة) و من هنالك كانت تنمو عمليات المراقبة و الحظر و التحريمات الصارمة. و بأنها كانت محض كثير من التركيز و الدراسات رغم الصمت البادي في السطح، فلقد أعتبرت لوقت طويل السر الإعظم عن بني البشر، و دخلت كل من المعرفة و السلطة و المتعة في دوامة من المطاردات.أمر أخر قد يبدوا لي مميزا يكمن في تغتيط فوكو لسطح واسع من المصادر عن الجنسانية بدأ من أعترافات النساك في القرون الوسطى و التقريرات الطبية و الأعمال الأدبية ثم الإيروسية الشرقية و فرويد... فيكون بذلك قد انجز مؤلف لائق بقدر أمكانياته لتوليف و تحليل الأفكار و هي الشي الذي أعتبره عن عبقرية هذا المفكر.

  • AC
    2019-02-20 17:45

    Disappointing, esp. after reading a masterpiece like Discipline and Punish. This book consists of a serious of loosely connected, and individually incomplete meditations on various topics, that are intended to serve (not very successfully, imo) as a prolgomena to a history of sexuality. Indeed, the project was abandoned (what was eventually publishd as vols. 2-3 was part of a newly and differently conceived project begun several years later), proving that the current work was a failure. It should not have been published, and one can assume that MF may have felt the pressure to come out with another book fast to capitalize on the success of D&P.Parts I-III contain suggestive hints on the relation of sex in the formation of the Self (whereas for Freud, the ego is constructed at the boundary between desire/id and reality, for Foucault the Self is constructed at the boundary where superego (i.e., the administrative gaze of Power/Knowledge) inscribes itself upon the body. This is a brilliant conception, and a fascinating answer to the inherited problem of the transcendental ego, but it is really only adumbrated in these chapters.Part IV deals with method, and is long and dull, and can be "skimmed".Part V then takes the topic of sex in the direction of MF's new interest in biopower, which was then the topic of the Collège de France lectures of these years (1976-1979), before he turned back, at the end of his life, both in the lectures of 1981-1984 and in vols 2-3 of Sexuality, to the problem of the constuction and the hermeneutics of the Self -- a topic that Dreyfus-Rabinow also discuss in detail at the end of their study...

  • y.
    2019-02-20 13:29

    um. what can i say about this book that hasnt already been said? i read it my second year of college and it blew my mind, and in a good way, unlike kant, who made me cry actual tears in overwhelming frustration. foucaults ability to trace the burgeoning relationship between science and sexuality, the changes in the ways of perceiving a womans body, the notion of the creation of (a) sexuality, and, of course, the dynamics of power and discourse, are nothing short of brilliant in this classic study of poststructuralism. one dissatisfaction, which is true of the majority of foucaults works: he implies, sometimes more vehemently than others, that everything starts in the modern era, which is, as known to numerous scholars, simply untrue. i wish he were alive. id buy him a beer and beg him to love me, even though i am lacking the proper sexual organs that he was attracted to. i love me some foucault.

  • hayatem
    2019-03-21 15:37

    دراسة تاريخية تحليلية تناولت كيفية تشكل معرفة الجنس منذ القرن السابع عشر حتى العصر الحديث ، وكيف تضاعفت النقاشات التي جعلته موضوعاً لها ( دخول الظواهر الخاصة بحياة الجنس البشري إلى سياق المعرفة والسلطة.) وعن الأسباب التي جعلتنا نعطي قيمة تكاد تكون خرافية للحقيقة التي كانت تظن بأنها تنتجها.إضافة إلى علاقة السلطة بالجنس ودورها في تمكين ضلالات منهجية كمزلق من مزالق إرادة الوصول إلى الحقيقة. كما يطوف فوكو عبر مواقف وخلفيات الاقتصاد والمعرفة ودورها في خلق مفاهيم وتاريخ المجتمع في مجال الجنسانية. مع عنايته بجينالوجية الفرد و أركيولوجيا التحليل النفسي، ومساهمته في خلق بنية جديدة في السياق الجنساني بغية فهم واستيعاب سلوك الفرد والمجتمعات، وإصلاح الآليات السلطوية التي تزعم بإدارة الحياة الجنسية والإشراف عليها.فلسفة فوكو في الأخلاق مثيرة وتستحق كل الدراسة والنظر . الكتاب شائك في باطنه ويثير الكثير من الأسئلة.

  • Trevor
    2019-03-06 14:45

    A much more difficult Foucault - and not nearly as interesting as his history of madness. He seems to take a long time to get started and does seem to repeat himself an awful lot. All the same, the ideas around the difference between Western and Eastern notions of sexuality are well with thinking about. Essentially Eastern sexuality is an erotic thing - something understood through experience. Western sexuality is 'scientific' in the sense that it only makes sense once we can talk about it. Freud is interesting in this context. Foucault makes a remarkable observation that psychoanalysis serves much the same function in the Western tradition as the Catholic confession did. We can only be sure our sexuality is 'normal' once we have been able to verbalise our concerns and have these assessed and approved by an expert. Foucault has occasional insights that really are mind blowing. But this book is hard work and it is hard to see what point is served by making it quite so difficult.

  • Panos
    2019-03-02 16:16

    Ακατάσχετη φλυαρία, παλιλλογία και κενολογία.

  • Stef Rozitis
    2019-03-03 17:17

    I was unsure how many stars to give it, but after reading the critiques of it by some readers I need to give it a lot of stars because the critiques just don't make sense. It does lose a star from this subjective and biased reader for consistantly using terms like "man" and "men" for humans even though there IS an awareness of misogyny in the history. I do think the author could have worded that better (quite probably I have the translator to blame).This book is hard to understand, densely and complexly written and seems to meander off topic and around the point at times but if you follow it it draws the connection back in to show all the ways that sexuality and "sex" itself are constructs of human society and imbued with power relationships- not by accident or as a side effect but as constituent parts of what "sex" is. I got into a sort of incoherent argument with a girl at a pub immediately after reading this because (we were both drunk) I agree with Foucault and I think I came across as thinking sex is bullshit or bad or something. I don't think Foucault's argument is that we should dismantle "sex" or anything...pleasure and connection are things that people like and want and need but just that sex is one way of putting pleasure and connection together and also contains other ingredients and that maybe we can invest less strongly in some of the myths around sex (eg that it is a "natural" or the "only" way to enjoy pleasure and connection).I do think that humans need societies and social constructions have a function YES for power but also for other things so to transform a social construction like "sex" does not necessarily mean being prohibitive towards it or banning it or even overthinking it (particularly in the moment when connection and pleasure are happening).I don't think I understood every sentence and every paragraph perfectly and I will have to come back to the book in order to understand it better. Some of the ideas in it are transferrable to other fields of power not just sexuality. On p43 I learned some knew words that I had to google.Do you know what a gynecomast was? Even google can't tell me what mixoscophiles are!Anyway a fun read for a rainy afternoon long drawn out couple of months of stretching your brain.

  • Kristen Shaw
    2019-03-05 19:39

    In the words of my professor, "we're living in a post-Foucauldian world, so this will seem really self-evident, but that doesn't mean its right." Coming from that angle, I've been reading from a very critical position. I like Foucault's thesis and his examination seems pretty exhaustive, at least historically. I'm really caught on the discussion of the bourgeoisie and proletariat 'sexual bodies.' Foucault's statement that the technology of sexuality and proliferation of sexual power discourses were essentially produced by the dominant class is interesting, and seems to contradict his thesis that sex was not repressed for the sake of economic gain, but rather produced within a fluid discourse or network of power (implying that this is somehow seperate from economic concerns?). Sex may not have been repressed, but it was certainly produced to ensure particular economic performance. Reading "Eros and Civilization" by Marcuse really adds to this text and produces some excellent questions. I like the combo of the latter Marcuse text, Freud's "Civilization and its Discontents" and "The History of Sexuality," all of which bounce off one another really nicely. This is a smooth read, not incredibly dense, suitable for an introduction. I will reserve further criticism until after I've read the other volumes.

  • sologdin
    2019-02-19 19:45

    Reassessed, in light of re-readingGender Trouble: Author lays down the gauntlet against received wisdom that sexual liberty was destroyed by “the monotonous nights of the Victorian bourgeoisie” (3), wherein “silence became the rule,” “a single locus of sexuality was acknowledged in social space,” and “proper demeanor avoided contact with other bodies and verbal decency sanitized one’s speech” (id.). In this system of “taboo, nonexistence, and silence” (5), there was surreptitious transfer of “pleasures that are unspoken into the order of things that are counted” (4). Author raises doubts against this ‘repressive hypothesis,’ with a purpose of defining “the regime of power-knowledge-pleasure that sustains the discourse on human sexuality” (11), taking care to “account for the fact that it is spoken about, to discover who does the speaking, the positions and viewpoints from which they speak, the institutions that prompt people to speak about it and which store and distribute the things that are said” (id.). In order for the bourgeois to “gain mastery over [sex], in reality, it had first been necessary to subjugate it at the level of language, control its free circulation in speech, expunge it from the things that were said, and extinguish the words that rendered it too visibly present” (17). Despite these imperatives, “when one looks back over these last three centuries with their continual transformation […] one sees a veritable discursive explosion” regarding sex, even with an “expurgation” of “authorized vocabulary” (id.). Foucault’s primary model of the “proliferation of discourses” (18) is the “nakedness of the questions formulated by the confession manuals of the Middle Ages” (id.), wherein the detail “believed indispensable for the confession” included: “description of the respective positions of the partners, the postures assumed, gestures, places touched, caresses, the precise moment of pleasure” (19). Though the 17th century may have stepped back from the level of detail, “the language may have been refined,” confession’s extent increased, “the confession of the flesh,” inclusive of “thoughts, desires, voluptuous imaginings, delectations, combined movements of the body and soul” (id.). “Examine even unto your dreams, to know if, once awakened, you did not give them your consent” (20). Author regards this period as laying down an “injunction” (id.) of “telling oneself and another, as often as possible, everything that might concern the interplay of innumerable pleasures, sensations, and thoughts which, through the body and the soul, had some affinity with sex” (id.). This is a “scheme for transforming sex into discourse” and had been the province of “ascetic and monastic” persons (id.), here generalized as an “obligation” and a Christian “imperative” (21): “Not only will you confess to acts contravening the law, but you will seek to transform your desire, your every desire, into discourse” (id.). (This process is to be parodied in de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom, it is noted. (id.))Through the generalized prescription to produce discursive products regarding sex, it became “not something to be judged,” but rather “a thing one administered” (24), a matter for biopolitical management, a “police matter” (id.), an “economic and political problem of population” (25). The transformation “went from ritual lamenting over the unfruitful debauchery of the rich, bachelors, and libertines to a discourse in which the sexual conduct of the population was taken both as an object of analysis and as a target for intervention” (26).Different institutional mechanisms arose, such as “discursive orthopedics” (29) as a pedagogy, and the “sexual perversions” (30), handled by medicine and law—even inspections for “degenerescence of anatomy” (31)—a “kind of generalized discursive erethism” (32). Contrary to a great repression, “sex was driven out of hiding and constrained to lead a discursive existence,” “a singular imperialism that compels everyone to transform their sexuality into a perpetual discourse” (33). Part of the project may have been to “expel from reality the forms of sexuality that were not amenable to the strict economy of reproduction” (36), a straightforward part of the natalist biopolitical interest. The expulsion involved “prohibitions […] of a juridical nature” (38): “For a long time hermaphrodites [sic] were criminals, or crime’s offspring, since their anatomical disposition, their very being, confounded the law that distinguished the sexes and prescribed their union” (id.). Non-heteronormative desire and conduct “was transposed from the practice of sodomy onto a kind of interior androgyny, a hermaphroditism of the soul. The sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species” (43). (Coke’s comments in the Institutes regarding ‘lepers of the soul’ come to mind here.) Other species were made of “all those minor perverts” of the 19th century: Krafft-Ebing’s zoophiles and zooerasts, Rohleder’s auto-monosexualists; and later, mixoscopophiles, gynecomasts, presbyophiles, sexoesthetic inverts, and dyspareunist women. These fine names for heresies referred to a nature that was overlooked by the law, but not so neglectful of itself that it did not go on producing more species, even where there was no order to fit them into. (id.)Perhaps an aporia in the argument there, if the system produces them but can’t fit them anywhere? (The reference to ‘heresy’ no doubt reinforces the connection to Coke.)The most interesting conceptual distinction drawn herein is ars erotica v. scientia sexualis. In what might be a generalized model of ‘science’ as such, the science of sex “was in fact made up of evasions since, given its inability or refusal to speak of sex itself, it concerned itself primarily with aberrations, perversions, exceptional oddities, pathological abatements, and morbid aggravations” (53). This science “subordinated in the main to the imperatives of amorality whose divisions it reiterated under the guise of a medical norm” (id.), which is the process described in Fine’s Delusions of Gender and Fausto-Sterling’s Sexing the Body, incidentally.Science produced “an entire pornography of the morbid” (54), and was “incorporated into two very distinct orders of knowledge: a biology of reproduction […] and a medicine of sex” (id.). In the “continuous incitement to discourse and to truth that the real mechanisms of misunderstanding operated […] an immense apparatus for producing truth, even if this truth was to be masked at the last moment” (56). In distinction to the science is the ars erotica of ancient societies, wherein “truth is drawn from pleasure itself, understood as a practice,” closely held as secrets to be transmitted by masters to students (57). We have the scientia sexualis, “a form of knowledge-power strictly opposed to the art of initiations and the masterful secret” (58), rooted in the confession. I recall sex education in school in 5th grade, and it really didn’t involve the confession, but it simply laid out the operability of pregnancy and then tried to scare the fuck out of all of us with images of sexually transmitted infections. There was no instruction in the praxis of sex—I had to be instructed viscerally, for instance, in manual stimulation by an eager master later in life. Quite a bit on the permutations here, including how the scientia sexualis might react back and become the ars erotica of our society.Text thereafter traces the ‘deployment’ of the knowledge-power sex system. Its objective is usefully summed up as “where there is desire, the power relation is already present” (81). Some readers get very annoyed with his proclamation that “there is no escaping from power, that it is always-already present, constituting the very thing which one attempts to counter it with” (82). The explanation is nuanced: “the problem is not to know whether desire is alien to power, whether it is prior to the law as is often thought to be the case, when it is not rather the law that is perceived as constituting it” (89). He wants moreover to “construct an analytics of power that no longer takes law as a model and a code” (90), and to “rid ourselves of a juridical and negative representation of power, and cease to conceive of it in terms of law, prohibition, liberty, and sovereignty” (id.). Plain that “power is everywhere, not because it embraces everything, but because it comes from everywhere” (93). Resistance is accordingly “never in a position of exteriority in relation to power” (95). The deployment of sexuality therefore has four rules as its ‘method’: immanence (“no exteriority” (98)), continual variations (“the pattern of the modificati0ns […] relations of power-knowledge are not static forms” (99)), double conditioning (“two different levels (one microscopic and the other macroscopic) […] the family does not duplicate society” (99-100)), and tactical polyvalence of discourses (“discourse as a series of discontinuous segments […] a multiplicity of discursive elements that can come into play in various strategies” (100)). The ‘domain’ of the deployment is further differentiated into four institutional loci: “hysterization of women’s bodies,” “pedagogization of children’s sex,” “socialization of procreative behavior,” and the “psychiatrization of perverse pleasure” (104 ff.). All of this is periodized along a discontinuous chronology, showing ruptures in the 17th and then again in the 20th century, insofar as their development was not triumphant march of progressively unfolding awesome (see 115 ff.).The final section shifts gears to more obviously biopolitical concerns, how “one of the characteristic privileges of sovereign power was the right to decide life and death” (135). Notes a political dream of genocide (137), to go with the dreams of the leper and plague and panopticon in Discipline & Punish. Transformations in power noted as a shift from sanguinity to sexuality (147). A “faustian pact”: “to exchange life in its entirety for sex itself” (156). Plenty more here, especially for readers of Agamben.Underlying all of Foucault’s work is the fiction of the “individual,” even while he works to critique the ideology of the ‘subject,’ such as, for instance, in the proclamation that “It was essential that the state knew what was happening with its citizens’ sex, and the use they made of it, but also that each individual be capable of controlling the use he made of it” (26). Huh? Some work to be done here, I think.One of the more interesting notes was the tracking of sexual norms as class-bound, inhering in the aristocracy and only later escaping the country club and the debutante ball to infect the rest of the world. Much like the early affliction of Christianity on Europe (see The Barbarian Conversion), the ruling class was transformed first and only thereafter using the regular ideological state apparatus remade the world in its image. Basic German Ideology Marxism there.Recommended for demographers on the eve of the revolution, those who say that there are class sexualities, and readers under the sway of a logic of concupiscence and desire.my 3* review from 2011, recalling it as read from 1997: "a good book to read in a public café, wherein meatheads of any gender might discern the title and proclaim, as happened to me, that "y'all don't need no books for that because I can teachy'all." I can affirm that, whereas a picture is worth a thousand words, a meathead is worth a thousand books."

  • Ali Ben
    2019-03-12 15:20

    Why one more review?Reading our comrades' review, one is very surprised. First of all, many seem to think this book "outdated", which is quite surprising - towards Foucault's writings, the question probably is if we failed the test of time, rather than if he did...More interesting, most seem to be deceived by the title, and assume this is a book about "sexuality".Indeed, the discourse on sexuality (Victorian Era, confession, psychoanalysis, etc.) forms its background.The real subject, however, is power and the subject : this book was written just afterDiscipline and Punishwhere his thesis on power were already outlined.As such, it contains Foucault's famous criticism of thesovereign theoryof power. It also deeply contested the conception of power as being exclusively a censorship machine, which says what is right and what is wrong, what is legal and what is illegal. Power is also something which produces stuff - the last chapter onpopulationsand nazism should be enough for readers to understand that this book is concerned with something much larger than "sexuality".

  • kappoo
    2019-03-19 15:21

    ازپایان سده شانزدهم بدین سو، "به گفتمان درآوردن" سکس نه از فرایند محدودیت، بلکه برعکس از سازوکار تحریک فزاینده تبعیت می کند، که نشان می دهد تکنیک های قدرتی که بر سکس اعمال می شود، نه از اصل انتخاب سختگیرانه، بلکه از اصل انتشار و اشاعه سکسوالیته های چند ریختی تبعیت می کند و نشان می دهد که اراده به دانستن دربرابر تابویی رفع ناشدنی متوقف نشده است، بلکه برساخت علمی از سکسوالیته اصرار داشته است. ...صفحه20

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-02-18 17:22

    ‎‭‭La volonte de savoir‬=The Will to Knowledge, Michel Foucaultعنوان: اراده به دانستن؛ میشل فوکو؛ مترجمها: نیکو سرخوش، افشین جهاندیده؛ تهران، نشر نی؛ 1383؛ در 183 ص؛ شابک: 9789643127176؛ چاپ هشتم: 1392؛ موضوع: تاریخ -- رفتار جنسی قرن 20 م

  • Mahnam
    2019-02-26 17:36

    فکر کنم خوندن این کتاب بیش از هر کتاب دیگری توی زندگی‌ام طول کشیده باشه. حجم زیادی نداشت اما به‌نوعی بین هر بار برداشتن و ادامه‌ی مطالعه ماه‌ها فاصله می‌افتاد و مجبور می‌شدم دوباره قسمت‌های قبلی رو بخونم تا یادم بیاد چی به چی بود. نثر کتاب گاهی زیادی خشک و خسته‌کننده می‌شد که در چنین کتاب‌هایی عجیب نیست. برگردان بعضی از واژه‌ها هم به گوش نا‌آشنا بود و همین باعث می‌شد خوندن و فهمیدن مطلب سخت‌تر بشه. فوکو در این کتاب سعی داره بعضی از باورهای اشتباه ما در مورد سامانه‌ي سکسوالیته رو اصلاح کنه و از خواننده می‌پرسه چرا فکر می‌کنه امیال جنسی‌اش سرکوب شده یا در گذشته سرکوب می‌شده و چرا انسانِ امروز احساس می‌کنه هر چه بیشتر امیال جنسی‌اش رو بروز بده و به گفتمان تبدیل کنه، آزادی بیشتری داره. بنابر نظر فوکو این بخش از خواسته‌های انسان به‌شدت به نهادهای قدرت و سیاست روز وابسته است و نه فقط مثل باقی بخش‌های زندگی یک انسان به سیاست وابسته که اصلاً کاملاً زیر سلطه‌ی آن است و حتی ظهور شخصی مثل فروید نه صرفا به خاطر نبوغ شخص او، که لازمه‌ی دوران سیاسی خاص خود اوست. نهادهای قدرت بدنه‌ی اجتماع را به سمت این دیدگاه یا دیدگاه دیگر سوق می‌دهند و باورهای ما بیش از آن‌که به اخلاق، مذهب یا نگرش خودمان مرتبط باشد کاملاً در دست قدرت است که در عصر ما به جای دراختیار داشتن حق مرگ، مدیریت حق زندگی اجتماع را به عهده گرفته و به خاطر آن‌که نقش خود را به‌خوبی ایفا کند، فرد فرد ما را به سمت این دیدگاه سوق داده که سکسوالیته‌ی ما بخش بسیار گسترده‌ای از هویت‌مان را تشکیل می‌دهد و در تمامی رفتارها و افکار ما ردی از آن را پیدا می‌کند و آن را به گفتمان می‌گذارد و ما را به اعتراف وامی‌دارد تا حدی که حس می‌کنیم حتی باید درباره‌ی ریزترین افکار جنسی‌مان به بحث بنشینیم و در کتاب‌ها، فیلم‌ها و هر اثر دیگری به آن رجوع کنیم. فوکو می‌گوید دلیل این‌همه پرحرفی نه سرکوب پیشین انسان که کاملاً خواست قدرت موجود است و مثال‌های تاریخی می‌آورد و بسیاری از نگرش‌هایمان را زیرورو می‌کند و در آخر حدس می‌زند هیچ بعید نیست آیندگان به نسل کنونی بخندند و از خود بپرسند چرا این نسل از انسان‌ها اعتقاد داشتند در هر چیز ردی جنسی به‌جاست و ما برای آن‌ها همان‌قدر عجیب خواهیم بود که انسان قرون وسطی برای ما.

  • gieb
    2019-02-22 14:41

    Membaca buku ini pas dengan momennya. Karena seperti kita ketahui bersama, beberapa minggu terakhir ini, kita bisa menyaksikan betapa kekuasaan mampu menggapai, menembus dan mengontrol individu sampai pada kenikmatan-kenikmatan yang paling intim. Tanpa perlu saya sebutkan siapa aktor individu tersebut, kita dipahamkan dari peristiwa ini, bahwa di seputar hubungan intim itu telah dibangun perlengkapan serta mesin untuk memproduksi kebenaran. Artinya seks ternyata bukan hanya masalah sensasi dengan kenikmatan, atau hukum dan larangan. Tetapi di dalam seks dipertaruhkan masalah benar dan salah. Dalam buku ini, Foucault ingin menegaskan, seks mau dirumuskan menjadi suatu kebenaran yang perlu diatur. Maka perlu mencurigai bahwa di dalam seks ada rahasia penting karena masyarakat butuh produksi kebenaran. Maka seks harus masuk dalam rejim tatanan pengetahuan. Meskipun tidak mampu mengimajinasikan kenikmatan baru, setidaknya menemukan kenikmatan akan kebenaran kenikmatan. Dari wacana tentang seks bisa ditarik kesimpulan adanya kenikmatan untuk mengetahui, menemukan, tertarik melihat, mengatakan, mempercayakan rahasia dan menjebak kelicikan.Ada konspirasi kekuasaan-pengetahuan sehingga kekuasaan menjangkau sampai pada perilaku yang paling individual dan intim. Di media tulis, seks selalu ada dan menjadi kolom yang tak terlewatkan. Kolom itu biasa diasuh oleh seorang pakar: dokter, psikolog, psikiater. Kehadiran pakar ini adalah ilustrasi betapa kekuasaan-pengetahuan merambah kehidupan paling intim subyek. Lalu kelihatan bahwa kekuasaan terhadap seks hanya bisa membuat larangan atau hanya bisa mengatakan tidak. Kekuasaan bisa mengambil bentuk instansi yang mengatur. Dalam hal ini, kekuasaan memberi peraturan, sah atau tidak, boleh atau dilarang. Dengan demikian, seks dipahami hanya dalam kerangka hukum. Kekuasaan membentuk lingkaran larangan sangat beragam, dari jangan berbicara; jangan mendekat; jangan menyentuh; sampai pada jangan melakukan. Tujuan lingkaran larangan ini ialah agar seks meninggalkan dirinya.Foucault memberikan contoh, salah satu dimensi larangan adalah sensor. Logika sensor yang terpateri dalam larangan bisa mempunyai tiga bentuk, yaitu menyatakan tidak boleh; menghalangi jangan sampai dikatakan; menyangkal bahwa ada. Ketiga hal ini merupakan bentuk mekanisme sensor. Cara beroperasi sama di semua tingkat. Kekuasaan atas seks beroperasi dengan cara yang sama pada setiap tingkat, yaitu mereproduksi hukum, larangan dan sensor. Cara beroperasi ini berjalan secara sama baik di tingkat negara, keluarga, agama, penguasa, ayah, pengadilan atau semua instansi dominasi sosial. Jadi kekuasaan adalah banyaknya hubungan kekuatan yang melekat pada bidang di mana ia beroperasi; permainan melalui perjuangan dan bentrokan tanpa henti untuk mengubah, memperkuat dan membalikkan. Kekuasaan itu menyebar, ada di mana-mana.Prosedur kebenaran, menurut Foucault, ialah cara bagaimana suatu praktik sosial mendapat legitimasi. Hanya prosedur itu sangat ditentukan oleh struktur pemaknaan suatu jaman dan konteks tertentu, yang pada gilirannya, menentukan cara berpikir, bertindak dan menilai. Dua prosedur untuk memproduksi kebenaran seks: pertama, ars erotica (Cina, Jepang, India, Roma, Arab-Islam); dan kedua, scientia sexualis (Barat). Dalam ars erotica, kebenaran digali dari kenikmatan itu sendiri sebagai praktik dan dikumpulkan sebagai pengalaman. Perspektif ini tidak dipahami dalam kerangka hukum (boleh-dilarang) atau criteria kegunaan. Seks dipahami dalam kenikmatan, intensitas, kualitas khas, keberlangsungan, pantulan dalam tubuh dan jiwa. Sedangkan, dalam scientia sexualis, yang dikembangkan adalah prosedur yang mengatur bentuk kekuasaan-pengetahuan. Kekuasaan pengetahuan ini mengurus masalah pengakuan. Ritus-ritus dibuat untuk memproduksi kebenaran (teknik pengakuan, prosedur penuduhan, interogasi, penghilangan bukti kesalahan, sumpah, duel, pengadilan Tuhan). Pengakuan dihargai sebagai sarana menghasilkan kebenaran.So, Ariel, Luna, Tari, karena tubuh kalian, bangsa ini bergerak mundur lagi beberapa langkah. Hanya karena tubuh kalian. Sementara itu, ada ribuan tubuh di Sidoarjo yang terampas haknya karena luapan lumpur dari Lapindo yang sampai sekarang tidak tahu nasib akan membawa mereka kemana. Ribuan tubuh itu jauh dari riuh pemberitaan di media. Tapi hanya karena tubuh kalian, media mendulang untung yang luar biasa. Saya sama sekali tidak menyalahkan tubuh kalian. Toh kalian melakukannya tanpa keadaan terpaksa. Abaikan kaum agama yang memang kerjaannya cuma berteriak tentang moralitas, tetapi moralitasnya sendiri dipertanyakan. Karena tubuh kalian, saya jadi teringat Al Masih ketika berhadapan dengan orang-orang yang ingin merajam Maria Magdalena. Al Masih dengan tegar mengucapkan, “Siapa yang merasa dirinya tidak pernah berdosa, silakan jadi orang yang pertama merajam Maria Magdalena!”. Nah, orang-orang yang sekarang mengecam dan menghujatmu, mungkin memang tidak pernah mempunyai dosa sama sekali. Sehingga lupa, dan bertindak bagai Tuhan. –Ah, siapa sebenarnya juga Tuhan?-Tubuh kalian menjadi kajian politik karena kegiatan intim yang kalian lakukan dengan gembira. Hidup menjadi bagian arena kontrol pengetahuan dan campur tangan kekuasaan. Kekuasaan tidak lagi hanya berurusan dengan subyek hukum, tetapi fokusnya pada makhluk hidup. Jadi tanggung jawab atas kehidupan memberi akses kekuasaan masuk sampai pada tubuh. Tubuh adalah politik karena seks.Jadi, diam-diam tubuh saya...Diam-diam tubuh saya...* Banyak dikutip dari buku ini dan makalah Kekuasaan-Pengetahuan Sebagai Rezim Wacana, Sejarah Seksualitas: Sejarah Pewacanaan Seks & Kekuasaan Menurut Foucault oleh Haryatmoko. * Thanks to Aldo buat pinjaman buku ini.

  • Mehdi
    2019-02-23 18:30

    اولین کتاب جدی بود که از فوکو میخوندم و خب طبیعی بود که ادبیاتش برای من ناآشنا باشه. البته پیش زمینه فلسفی هم به سخت تر شدن متن کتاب کمک کردهروایت جالبی از اندیشیدن درباره سکس و ماهیت مفهومیش داره که برای من به عنوان یک مخاطب مذهبی جالب بود. اینکه فیلسوفان غربی دنبال ارائه فهم متناسبی از سکس با شرایط روز جامعه هستند، دقیقا حسادت برانگیزه؛ چرا در داخل چنین مساله ای مطرح نمیشه

  • Najla Hammad
    2019-03-16 15:40

    الكتاب صعب ولم تعجبني طريقة ميشيل فوكو في شرح أفكاره، وكان بإمكانه أن يكون أكثر وضوحًا واختصارًا..لا أدري إن كانت هذه طريقته أو أن الترجمة (دار التنوير) هي من أوحت لي بذلك.
يشرح فوكو في هذا الكتاب كيف أن الجنس في الغرب منذ ظهور البرجوازية الفيكتورية يُعامل كأمر خاص بين الزوجين الشرعيين أما مايقع خارج هذا النطاق فهو تحت "القمع"، لكن مع تطور الرأسمالية اتجه الفيكتوريون من "الصنف الآخر" إلى مسارات أخرى كبيوت الدعارة والطبيب النفسي. وبعدها ظهر فرويد في العصر الحديث -بعدما كان الأطباء النفسيون يعتذرون إذا ذكروا الجنس في حديثهم- يتحدث بطريقة صريحة عن الجنس. ويتسائل، لم كان الجنس مدانًا ومرتبطًا دائمًا بالخطيئة؟ وكيف أن السلطة كان لها دور في قمع الجنس والتحكم به، إلا أن النتائج كانت عكس ذلك. 
وكيف ساهم الاعتراف في الكنيسة في فتح المجال للنقاش عن الجنس، ثم الحديث عنه من أجل الصحة وتنظيم الأسر، ثم الجنس عند الأطفال والمراهقين كونه قضية هامة لدى الأهالي ومايتبعه ذلك من فصل بين الجنسين في المدارس. ثم كيف أدى انتشار الدراسات عن الجنس إلى فتح المجال للنقاش عنه بشكل أوسع. ثم رفض الإنحرافات الجنسية كونها لاتؤدي إلى الخصوبة فألحقت بالأمراض العقلية. أدى تخويف الأهالي من جنس الأطفال إلى زرع سوء الظن بأطفالهم والشك بهم، كما أدت المطاردات للممارسات الجنسية إلى تجريم "السدومية" أمام القضاء وربط ممارسها بماضيه وطفولته، وبعد ذلك أخذت السلطة على عاتقها الفحص الطبي والاستقصاء النفسي مما أدى إلى ازدياد المعرفة حول الجنس وبالتالي الحصول على اللذة. 
أما المعرفة الجنسية فلم يبدأها الغرب، بل كانت هذه المعرفة موجودة سابقًا في اليابان والصين والهند والمجتمعات العربية الإسلامية "كفن إباحي| جنسي"، لكن الغرب يختلف في ذلك كونه بدأ بالإعتراف الكنسي للبحث عن الحقيقة حتى وصل إلى "العلم الجنسي".ثم يتحدث عن خصائص العلاقة بين الجنس والسلطة: 
العلاقة السلبية بين الجنس والسلطة: الجنس دائمًا تحت سيطرة من السلطة. 
فرض القاعدة: كيف تضع السلطة يدها على الجنس بصفة قانونية.حلقة الممنوع: كيف تقمع السلطة الجنس.
منطق الرقابة: ماهو غير مسموح، ومايجوز التكلم عنه، وما تلغيه الرقابة.
وحدة التجهيزات: تدخلات السلطة على الجنس من جميع المستويات من الدولة إلى العائلة، من الأمير إلى الأب. ثم يشرح كيف أن هذه السلطة لا تتعلق فقط بسلطة المؤسسات والأجهزة، وبالتالي يجب علينا أن ندرس علاقات السلطة فيما يتعلق بالمنهجية، كأن نعرف تقسيمات السلطة.. من بيده السلطة داخل نسق الحياة الجنسية (الرجال، البالغون، الأهل، الأطباء) ومن هو المحروم منها (النساء، المراهقون، الأطفال، المرضى..).
ثم كيف ساهمت أربعة مجموعات استراتيجية في التطوير من المعرفة والسلطة/ 
١- إلباس جسد المرأة لبوس الهسترة: من خلال كون جسدها كمشبع للمعرفة الجنسانية. ٢- إلباس الشأن الجنسي للطفل اللبوس التربوي: هم خارج الجنس وداخله في نفس الوقت، لأنهم قد ينساقون إلى نشاط جنسي.٣- إلباس السلوكيات التناسلية اللبوس الإجتماعي: فرض القيود الإجتماعية أو الضريبية على الزوجين.
٤- إلباس اللذة الشاذة لبوس المرض النفسي: أي ممارسات شاذة هي أمراض نفسية.تحدث ميشيل فوكو كيف أن آليات القمع هذه بدأت تتراخى من بعد أن ابتعدت عن الكنيسة، فأصبحت قضية دولة وليست مجرد قضية علمانية لأنها تتطور على ثلاثة مراحل: محور التربية عند الطفل، ومحور الطب، ومحور النمو السكاني. أما إجراءات الإشراف الجنسي فلم تُمارس على الطبقة الفقيرة -على غير المتوقع- ولكنها بدأت في الطبقة البرجوازية حيث كانت المرأة البرجوازية لديها التزامات زوجية وعائلية، وحيث الطفل البرجوازي المحاط بالخدم والمتوقع أن يحفظ لعائلته ولطبقته الإجتماعية ذرية سليمة. لذلك، ومن أجل الحفاظ على ذريتها وبقائها، اهتمت الطبقة البرجوازية بالتجهيزات الجنسانية، بينما كان الدم في الطبقة الإرستقراطية "للدلالة على زواجات النبلاء" هو الوسيلة للحفاظ على التميز النوعي للجسد. في نهاية الكتاب يتحدث فوكو كيف أن السلطة الأبوية متمثلة في العاهل الملكي لديه السيطرة على حياة وموت الناس. أما في العصر الراهن أصبحت السلطة متمركزة على الجسد "بيو- سلطة" وأصبح يُعامل كآلة من أجل الإقتصاد وضبط الظواهر السكانية. فجنسنة الطفل وهسترة النساء كانا من أجل التنظيم والضبط، وكذلك تنظيم الولادة والممارسات الشاذة كان التدخل فيها من أجل التنظيم السكاني. أما الحفاظ على "الدم" الذي كان رمزا للقوة والسيطرة تحول إلى الجنسانية، وضرب مثال على ذلك النازية التي تريق الدماء من أجل الحفاظ على نقاء الدم وانتصار العرق. باختصار يدعو فوكو إلى النقاش حول الجنس حتى نتكسب المعرفة، فكلما تحدثنا عنه أكثر كلما أصبحنا أكثر تحررًا.

  • Maryam
    2019-02-28 16:40

    فوکو در کتاب اراده به دانستن ابتدا به تبارشناسی سکسوالیته می پردازد. که در سده ی هفدهم نوعی رک گویی در اعمال جنسی متداول بود. ولی در دوران ویکتوریایی سکسوالیته محبوس شد در خانوادها و تولیدمثل. و همین سرکوب ها باعث ریاکاری جامعه و دادن امتیازهای مثل روسپی خانه ها، بیمارستان های روانی شد.ولی سده ی هجدهم جامعه با تنوعی از گفتمان های درباره سکس مواجه شد. کم کم صحبت از سکس و لذت های آن به یک الزام تبدیل شد. در قرون وسطی این الزام در قالب اعتراف بود. و در قرون جدید در قالب روانشناسی و پزشکی.فوکو معتقد است این گفتمان های و نهادهای سکس ابزار قدرت جامه هستند برای نفوذ در تمام زندگی، بدن و لذت های انسان. این قدرت نه از طریق قانون و نه ممنوعیت بلکه از طریق تکثیر سکسوالیته های نامتعارف عمل می کند. قدرت در پی حذف و پرهیز از سکسوالیته نیست. بلکه تنوع سکسوالیته رو جذب می کند. و علیرغم هدفی که از ابتدا این گفتمان ها داشتند باعث اشاعه ی انحراف های جنسی شدند.پس گفتمان های درباره سکس از سه سده پیش به جای کم شدن افزایش یافته است. گرچه این گفتمان ها با خود امر و نهی، مشروع و نامشروع،مجاز و غیر مجاز به همراه اورده. اما به گونه ی بنیادی تر استحکام و اشاعه همه ی گوناگونی جنسی را تضمین کرده است.از لحاظ تاریخی، دو روش برای  تولیدحقیقت سکس وجود دارد:۱. جوامعی نظیر چین، ژاپن،هند،روم و جوامع عربی از "هنر کامجویی" برخوردارند. یعنی حقیقت از خود لذت به دست می آید لذا به منزله ی عمل و تجربه فهم می شود و نه معیار فایده مندی.۲.تمدن غرب فاقد هنر کامجویی، یگانه تمدنی است که علم جنسی را به کار می گیرد. تمدنی که روش های را برای گفتن حقیقت سکس توسعه داد که در اساس با شکلی از قدرت-دانش هماهنگ است.  و اعتراف تکنیک تولید حقیت در غرب بردل شد. و انسان "حیوان اعتراف گر"پس فوکو معتقد است شکل گیری دانش درباره سکس را نه به بر حسب سرکوب قانون بلکه بر حسب قدرت تحلیل کنیم. ولی قدرت نه به معنی مجموعه نهادها و دستگاها و نه به معنی خشونت و استیلا برا افراد. بلکه باید قدرت را بیش از هر چیز به منزله کثرت مناسبات نیرو درک کرد. قدرت همه جا هست نه به ای معنی که همه چیز را دربرمی گیرد، بلکه به این معنا که قدرت از همه جا می آید‌."قدرت نهاد نیست" ساختار نیست، نوعی قدرت مندی نیست که بعضی از آن برخوردار باشند. قدرت نامی است که به یک موقعیت استراتژیک پیچیده در جامعه ی معین اطلاق می شود.و عرصه این قدرت در سده ی هجدهم در چهار مجموعه استراتژیک است.ا. هیستریک شدن بدن زن ۲‌تربیتی کردن سکس کودک۳.اجتماعی کردن رفتارهای تولید مثلی۴ روان پزشکانه کردن لذت منحرف.و روش های قدرت که در عصر کلاسیک از طریق امر نمادین خون بود(تسلطی که حاکمان بر زندگی انسان از طریق حق کشتن و مرگ داشتن) به قدرت سکسوالیته در قرن نوزدم رسید.پس سکس به عنوان مسئله سیاسی اهمیت زیادی دارد. از یک سو، به انضباط های بدن مربوط است: تربیت، تشدید و توزیع نیرو. از سوی دیگر به سامان دهی جمعیت ها مربوط است.

  • Spyros Passas
    2019-03-07 17:27

    A popular quote goes by: "everything is about sex, except sex; sex is about power". While this can be interpreted in many ways, one of the most interesting approaches is the one presented in this book.Foucault investigates not so much the history (if you're looking for a historiographical view of sex, this is not the book for you) but a -post- structuralist genealogy of sex; a study of the lineage and evolution of sexuality the last four centuries, examined under the dominant notion of Power.In this context, Foucault defines Power not as an authority exerted through centralised forces by political or legal means but instead as a set of multiple and intertwined discourses, acting on multiple levels forming sources of both oppression and resistance. The need for knowledge and the exhortation to confess every detail about sex, as expressed in multiple and completely diverse environments shape the new discourses that, in turn, form the complex and constantly shifting forms of Power (the power-knowledge paradigm as postulated in the book).Four sexual identities, originating from these new knowledge-fuelled discourses, play a central role to the analysis: the hysterical woman, the masturbating child, the Malthusian couple and the perverse adult. Foucault uses these four types as the anchoring points between which the knowledge-power forces circulate, in the contexts of therapy, clergy, family, policy and science. The book in my eyes was very pleasant to read (it is not as difficult as many people claim, especially after you start adapting to Foucault's way of writing) and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in this topic.

  • Gastón
    2019-03-01 13:19

    Cuando me recomendaron leer a Foucault vinieron con un aviso: Gastón, mirá que te va a cambiar la cabeza. Hay un antes y un después de leerlo. Lo bueno es que no se equivocaron.Este es el primer tomo de lo que llamó La historia de la sexualidad que bien podría llamarse de otra forma porque de historia tiene poco. Es una mezcla entre estudio sociológico y ensayístico sobre el sexo. Explica la formación e imposición de los discursos en Occidente, cómo las ideas mutan o cambian y cómo se cree en la libertad aunque estemos sujetos. La voluntad de saber explica la manera en que los discursos sobre la sexualidad se formaron y utiliza como punto de partida el siglo XVIII. Va develando el lugar del sexo en nuestra cultura. Muestra cómo se ve en todos lados y que no es algo reprimido: hay sexo en la tv, se habla de sexo entre amigos e incluso la familia. El giro y gran hallazgo es lo que se hace con esos discursos. Ya que no se habla del sexo en sus variadas formas sino que se lo normaliza, se lo encastra dentro de ciertos parámetros. Lo que no está dentro de esos límites es anormal, extraño y hasta perverso. También explica cómo el saber científico, el de la medicina en especial, moldea lo que se dice, lo que no y cómo esto es dicho.El estudio del sexo en manos del poder genera un discurso positivista, enclaustrado y normalizador, donde las diferentes instituciones (medicina, familia, escuela, relaciones entre personas) delimitan qué es lo correcto y qué no, qué hay que hacer con lo denominado anormal y cómo seguir normalizando prácticas que antes pertenecían a los sectores relegados.

  • Jen Seman
    2019-03-18 18:42

    After reading this, I can't read anything else without seeing his influence. The relationships between power/knowledge and the construction of sexuality...he turns assumptions upside down and offers a different way of interpreting events, especially commonly held ideas about power relationships. For example, he dismisses the idea that victorian values repressed sexuality. He would insist that just the opposite is true - that the Victorian age offered multiple sites and institutions which increased our discourse on sex, making it a primary focus, actually creating "sexuality."

  • Sarvenaz Taridashti
    2019-02-27 13:29

    در نمایشگاه کتاب تهران سال 1394 با افشین جهان دیده ملاقات کردم. ایشان شناخت خوب و نسبتا کاملی نسبت به فوکو دارند و ترجمه هایشان هم کم از عالی ندارد. بی شک شناخت ایشان به کمک ترجمه های خوبشان آمده!کتاب در مورد سکس و ...است.

  • Jessica D. Bicking
    2019-03-20 18:31

    So, in February a friend of mine suggested we'd join this philosophy reading club at my university's humanities department and since I've been feeling my Danish slipping (and maybe my philosophy even more so), I agreed it was a good idea and more or less aimlessly signed up for this year's Foucault group. And while I have no idea how either my friend nor the group, that I only managed to take part in once, have fared with this piece -- I had to just finish it now, as it appears I am already owing the library 120 dkk for late delivery. Ughn. While having had a very general idea of Foucault being a proponent of social constructivism - remember that incredible tv debate with Chomsky? - this first part of a A History of Sexuality was not at all what I had expected. For some reason or another, I was sure this was going to be some post-lacanean reworking of object relations. That it is not, thank god, that would have been tediously boring.. .. instead part #1 , in the French original as well as the Danish it is called "The Will to Knowledge", which really sums it up well, though, admittedly ' An Introduction' is a much less intimidating, and therefore possibly more attractive title for a piece of post structuralist western philosophy.. .. what I was going to say was: instead part #1 is a genealogy of sexuality. It is not so much interested with sex, or sexuality itself, but rather in how it has become on object for knowledge. It is also a genealogy of power of sorts, and the evolution of both, the concept of power and that of sexuality will be traced covering a number of different meanings they have held, different ways they have been used and different purposes they have served, and throughout his argumentation all of the introduced concepts and terms will be properly connected, introducing some of Foucault major concepts (bio-power, will to knowledge etc.) and presenting an intriguing and at the time rather new idea on the meaning of sexuality in our life. As such, this short book, despite Michels many indulgences in rhetorical flourishes and theoretical leaps (he's French after all), is nonetheless a brilliant piece of post-structuralist thought, that is pleasant to read and that dares to rattle the confines of concepts that we believe to be at the very heart of our being and the reality we reside in.Read it.Furthermore, I'd like to implore everybody reading this to immediately do a google image search of "Foucault with hair". Isn't that sweet. You're welcome.

  • Jamie
    2019-03-01 17:46

    Foucault's "History of Sexuality" was assigned twice over the course of my semester; for one class, our theme is the intersection between queer and race theories; for the other, a strict literary (theory) methods foundation. As such, we discussed the text in two very different ways for each of the classes, with one debate focusing largely on the absence of race in Foucault's history; the other, on conceptions of power in the text, and their relation to Foucault's "What Is an Author?" Nevertheless, I still feel I have only a vague handle on the text, and learned more that one can approach "History" from a number of very different methodologies and find something new in each approach. I think that's positively fabulous, and I'm really looking forward to reading more Foucault soon (god knows, my dept. loves him).That said, Foucault's capillary-style conception of power is perpetually fascinating to me, even if it veers dangerously close to being fatalist or apolitical, and I love his style. He's shockingly accessible, even if the weighty ideas don't hit you at first. But having been drowning in theory all semester, I really appreciate Foucault's ability to articulate intricate and provocative questions without falling into impenetrable language. I have to say, I can't fault his argument in many ways (besides, as I noted, his seemingly normalizing 'ideal' of the sexual (bourgeois, white) person). His position as a historicist is particularly interesting, because he appears allergic to direct references and mostly averse to footnoting his facts; it's very seductive, potentially dangerous, but in any case, not what you're used to when reading something that purports to be in some sense a "history" of the discursive production of sexuality through the last two centuries. Provocative, persuasive, and surprisingly accessible--those would be my final words on this one.UPDATE: Was assigned it. Again. But this time--wait for it--also had to teach it. & it was at that precise moment, as I attempted to clarify Foucault's notion(s) of the mechanisms of power for 30 undergraduates, that I realized I understood hardly anything. Scary & exciting at once, I think.

  • Nuno Ribeiro
    2019-03-08 14:22

    Neste primeiro volume, Foucault faz a ligação entre a Grécia e o Cristianismo, assegurando-se que não reforça a ideia de uma ruptura cultural, que não terá existindo, visto que uma cultura terá herdado a outra e a partir dela evoluído, nem a de uma transição suave, que também não aconteceu, segundo o autor. A cristandade trouxe de facto mudanças profundas. Mas elas aconteceram ao longo de séculos. A própria condenação do amor dos rapazes vai sendo gradual e começa ainda nos gregos, no final do período clássico. Os dois volumes seguintes vão continuando a dar conta desta passagem desconexa de uma para outra cultura.Os gregos tinham uma cultura diversa e Foucault vai citando as várias vozes, os muitos autores que divergiam um pouco entre si. Foucault escreve de forma eloquente, clara, brilhante, inteligente. Conhece aquilo de que fala. Estudou a civilização a que se refere. Avisa que não é um helenista e no entanto conhece bem o periodo e os textos clássicos. É surpreendente ler esta história da sexualidade. Chama a atenção para o facto de que o sexo (sexualidade é palavra moderna) não lhes interessava tanto como a seguir interessou aos cristão. Aos gregos interessava mais o que chamariam de dietética (onde o sexo) é uma parte pequena. Como comer, que exercício fazer, quantas vezes ter sexo, com quem e onde. O sexo, como tudo o resto, para os gregos, era uma questão de saúde, e de auto-domínio.Para os cristãos, vai ser, sobretudo com a confissão, discurso. Onde estiveste e com quem. O que fizeste. E com a noção de pecado, quantas vezes, que pormenores, o detalhe do mal é extraído. Mais tarde o Santo Ofício, a Inquisição vai determinar com precisão como se devem conduzir os interrogatórios para extrair confissões de pecadores.

  • Mai Abdulwahab
    2019-03-15 11:40

    "السلطة توجد في كل مكان، ليس لانها تشكل كل شيء، وانما لانها تأتي من كل مكان.أما ال سلطة بما تحتويه كشيء دائم، متكرر، جامد، ذاتي- الإنتاج ، فليست سوي مفعول المجموع الذي يرتسم انطلاقا من كل هذه الحركيات،التسلسل الذي يعتمد علي كل واحدة منها ويحاول بالمقابل تثبيتها."السلطة ليست مؤسسة، ولا هي بنية، انها ليست قوة معينة قد تكون وقفا علي البعض: بل انها الاسم الذي نمنحه لوضعية إستراتيجية معقدة في مجتمع معطي." بعد هذا النص لك ان تتخيل مدي تركيب وعمق أفكار هذا الكتاب الصغير الحجم ولكن مليء بالاشكالات المتعلقة بخطاب الجنس والجنس لذاته وصراعاته مع السلطة بمعناها الفضفاض ليس بمعناها المتداول .

  • pplofgod
    2019-03-01 16:46

    !!!

  • Caterina
    2019-03-15 19:22

    "The aim of this series of studies? To transcribe into history the fable of Les Bijoux indiscrets. Among its many emblems, our society wears that of the talking sex. In the space of a few centuries, a certain inclination has led us to direct the question of who we are, to sex … The West has managed … to bring us almost entirely—our bodies, our minds, our individuality, our history—under the sway of a logic of concupiscence and desire. . . . Sex, the explanation for everything.” (pp. 77-78)In the mid-nineteen-seventies Foucault published this powerful introductory volume, an in-depth analysis that overturned then-accepted notions. He saw “sexuality” as a construct of power, instrumental in the transformation, in the Western world, from a society of “blood” whose primary power was to take life or let live, to a society of “sexuality” with a new form of power: “bio-power” which exercised ever-increasing surveillance and control at the minute level of individual bodies as well as populations. This power began, he says, as the effort of the rising bourgeois classes to enhance their own strength, health, and dominance over the nobility, which formed the basis for the rise of “biological” racism in the 19th century, and with it the ability to dominate and exploit the working classes. Its “strategies” within the field of sexuality were four-fold: “the hysterization of women, which involved a thorough medicalization of their bodies and sex, was carried out in the name of the responsibility they owed to the health of their children”; “the sexualization of children [i.e. campaign to prevent sexual activity in children, including masturbation] was accomplished in the form of a campaign for the health of the race”; the regulation of fertility; and the psychiatrization of perversions. (pp. 146-147) Laying the foundations for the invasive medical, psychiatric, and governmental scrutiny and control of the sexuality of women, children, married couples and people with sexual "perversions" (Foucault's term), right up through today's endless, excessive discourse about sex, were changing practices of confession and spiritual direction in the Christian Church dating from the 16th century, where, Foucault believed, talking about sex created dynamics of power and pleasure for both the confessor and the one making the confession.Through the “deployment of sexuality” for the purposes of power and control, we have now come to the bizarre place where, according to Foucault, “It is through sex … that each individual has to pass in order to have access to his own intelligibility, to the whole of his body, to his identity. Through a reversal that doubtless had its surreptitious beginnings long ago … we have arrived at the point where we expect our intelligibility to come from what was for many centuries thought of as madness; the plenitude of our body from what was long considered its stigma and likened to a wound; our identity from what was perceived as an obscure and nameless urge. …for centuries [sex] has become more important than our soul, more important almost than our life … Sex is worth dying for. … When a long time ago the West discovered love, it bestowed on it a value high enough to make death acceptable; nowadays it is sex that claims this equivalence, the highest of all. (p. 156)“We must not think that by saying yes to sex, one says no to power; on the contrary, one tracks along the course laid out by the general deployment of sexuality. It is the agency of sex that we must break away from, if we aim … to counter the grips of power with the claims of bodies, pleasures, and knowledges … The rallying point for the counterattack against the deployment of sexuality ought not to be sex-desire, but bodies and pleasures.” (p. 157) In this first volume Foucault does not delve into what he might mean by “bodies and pleasures” nor how they might be a “rallying point for the counterattack against the deployment of sexuality.” Is it possible that Foucault himself died for sex, or would it be more accurate to say he died for bodies and pleasures? I don’t know. This is the first book I’ve read by Foucault; I wanted to read his work because of its enormous influence on Western culture and its intelligent, original, controversial analysis. I am not saying that I agree with his conclusion; I would be much more inclined to see the only possible rallying point as that of love in the Christian sense of agape or caritas - caring for one another. (By this I do not mean to imply that Foucault did not care for others; I believe he did.) I would also like to see contemporary (i.e. the 2000s) critique, and feminist critique, of what he said. For instance, writing pre-sexual abuse crisis, he seems quite insensitive to issues like sexual molestation of children, including parental incest, and in expounding his views of the deployment of sexuality as strategies of sovereign power, he never mentions (and to be fair, it is not his focus) the many benefits to women and children of programs of public health and other aspects of “bio-power.” A final note: I find Foucault’s writing to be very well-organized, clear, and intelligible - a breath of fresh air in a field where so much of the writing is so very difficult to decipher. (I'm utterly puzzled by those who think his writing is unclear.) He also seems to me quite non-polemical — he does not engage in emotional attacks, but in quiet, powerful analysis — something I also appreciate.