Foucault, Abnormal, p. From the careful analyses of the maneuvers of psychiatric power in the previous year’s lectures ()—with. The genealogy of the abnormal individual offered by Foucault, one linking Abnormal In Canguilhem’s view, monstrosity and the monstrous. Students of history usually encounter major thinkers in a condensed form. They may associate the name of Michel Foucault with the term medicalization or.

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Please review our privacy policy. John Foot 08 October Occasionally, its readability comes at the expense of philological rigour. Tye appeal to present concerns about Sophie’s choices, about the effect on her sexual and personal development of exchanging sexual caresses for money, even being raped, would be to beg one of the questions Foucault is raising.

A, xiii Readers who are disappointed that Foucault never wrote the promised volumes on confessions of the flesh, hysteria, the Malthusian couple, thd onanism will find that these lectures offer some compensation.

Thus Foucault reiterates the fooucault made in Discipline and Punish that penal psychiatry is situated within a rule-governed network of power and knowledge–a historical context characterized by the spread of disciplinary and normalizing techniques. As do other volumes in this series, the book contains Foucault’s own course synthesis, an expert introduction by Arnold Tge, a competent afterword by the editors, and an excellent index.

If only we knew more about the original audience’s responses, their mumbling or their laughter.


Perhaps, he implicitly suggests, a bit more historical excavation will topple this pseudo-science altogether? Reversal of their Historical Importance pp. In this second genealogical sketch the adolescent masturbator, not the criminal monster, becomes the basis for the expansion of medical control within the family insofar as masturbation is granted infinite causal power to produce illness.

Email required Address never made public. From the vantage point of this volume, some of Foucault’s grand formulations in his better known book publications qualify as condensations of arguments he developed more extensively in lectures like the ones published in Abnormal.

Michel Foucault: Abnormal, Chapter Three Summary | Theory and Play

While many of the analyses of these documents are more suggestive and exploratory than definitive, they are suggestive enough that they are likely to stimulate further genealogical research. The monster is a mixture of two realms: After this brief introduction, Foucault suggests that since the history of hermaphrodites from the 17th to 18th centuries is interesting he will relate two cases: And if we are inclined to be just as disturbed about that, might we be more inclined to think that some sort of intervention would have been appropriate?


In Praise of Disobedience. But it’s also possible that she was raped. The motiveless crime served, so Foucault argues, as a motor for the development of early criminal psychiatry. Because of this, she chose to wear boys clothes and she moved to another town and got married. As it turns out, there were two incidents abnormlas Jouy and the girl, Sophie Adams, not one.

Between andFoucault’s public courses evolved in a series of interconnected xbnormals To be sure, this solution is much in tune with Foucault’s theoretical vision. It combines the impossible and the forbidden. Here again Foucault exhibits his talent for unearthing startling documents and bringing to life the figures represented in them.

The book under review here is to be recommended as an antidote to such summaries of Foucault’s oeuvre. As readers of that work may recall, Foucault used the Jouy case as an example of the spread of social control over sex as an omnipresent and constant danger. The Ubu-esque, Foucault remarks, underscores “the unavoidability, the inevitability of power, which can function in its full rigor and at the extreme point of its rationality even when in the hands of someone who is effectively discredited.

The first provides an foucaultt of how psychiatry connects up with juridical institutions; the second an account of the enmeshment of psychiatry and the family. These seminal events, attended by thousands, created the benchmarks for contemporary social enquiry. Jouy was a man of forty, but one whom adult women couldn’t take seriously.

Foucault 5/ Introducing *Abnormal* () – Foucault 13/13

Valerio Marchetti, Antonella Salomoni, trans. The discovery of instinct, an uncontrollable, involuntary and spontaneous natural impulse enabled these early psychiatrists to explain the motiveless crime, one that could not be explained by appealing to the logic of delirium fouucault used by alienists. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. It is around this figure that bodies of knowledge is reorganized.

They decided that he was female, and thus he was sentenced to be hung and burned, while his wife was forced to witness the execution and be thrashed. The eighteenth-century anti-masturbation campaign served as both a precursor and a model for nineteenth-century psychiatry. Notify me of foucaukt comments via email. Foucault is in effect historicizing our present practice of being preoccupied with the psycho-sexual development of children.


In the first instance it seems clear that it is something that happens with our bodies. It set a fundamental anxiety into motion that revolved around the sexuality of children, a danger so persistent and elusive that it has stayed with us ever since. No matter how far back they went, these stories always depicted foucautl results of an already existing repression of sexuality.

Intriguingly, as Foucault points out, such a gaze shifts attention away from the deed itself or the question of a person’s culpability at the time of the crime to aspects of an existence that were not themselves criminal, a person’s body and biography. The first is the exchange of money for masturbation in the company of a second girl who refuses an offer to do the same.

Foucault’s histories of the present are premised on this assumption. A critical apparatus provides relevant bibliographical citations and cross-references to Foucault’s other writings.

Your email address foucualt not be published. This is also a change in the idea of monstrosity: The Marie Lemarcis Case pp. Foucault cites the experts to confirm that the exchange of money by adolescent boys for sexual favors from girls was a regular feature of the social landscape in the village at this time.

In short, Foucault claims that the abnormal individual represents a strategic synthesis of three figures only two of which receive treatment in these lectures: Foucault’s own tendency to dismiss the incidents as “inconsequential” coupled with his repeated suggestions that perhaps Jouy was the victim of Sophie, that foucauult previous sexual liaisons with adolescent boys on the edge of the fields, and that the fact that she appeared not to mind after all, she didn’t tell anyone about the alleged rape might explain–even justify–the incident smacks of masculinist incredulity about the seriousness and reality of rape.

Should we conclude from this insensitivity that Foucault regards these bucolic pleasures as genuinely innocent? You can leave a responseor trackback from your own site.

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