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The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection By Judith Butler,

  • Title: The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection
  • Author: Judith Butler
  • ISBN: 9780804728126
  • Page: 245
  • Format: Paperback
  • As a form of power, subjection is paradoxical To be dominated by a power external to oneself is a familiar and agonizing form power takes To find, however, that what one is, one s very formation as a subject, is dependent upon that very power is quite another If, following Foucault, we understand power as forming the subject as well, it provides the very condition ofAs a form of power, subjection is paradoxical To be dominated by a power external to oneself is a familiar and agonizing form power takes To find, however, that what one is, one s very formation as a subject, is dependent upon that very power is quite another If, following Foucault, we understand power as forming the subject as well, it provides the very condition of its existence and the trajectory of its desire Power is not simply what we depend on for our existence but that which forms reflexivity as well Drawing upon Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault, and Althusser, this challenging and lucid work offers a theory of subject formation that illuminates as ambivalent the psychic effects of social power.If we take Hegel and Nietzsche seriously, then the inner life of consciousness and, indeed, of conscience, not only is fabricated by power, but becomes one of the ways in which power is anchored in subjectivity The author considers the way in which psychic life is generated by the social operation of power, and how that social operation of power is concealed and fortified by the psyche that it produces Power is no longer understood to be internalized by an existing subject, but the subject is spawned as an ambivalent effect of power, one that is staged through the operation of conscience.To claim that power fabricates the psyche is also to claim that there is a fictional and fabricated quality to the psyche The figure of a psyche that turns against itself is crucial to this study, and offers an alternative to describing power as internalized Although most readers of Foucault eschew psychoanalytic theory, and most thinkers of the psyche eschew Foucault, the author seeks to theorize this ambivalent relation between the social and the psychic as one of the most dynamic and difficult effects of power.This work combines social theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis in novel ways, offering a sustained analysis of the theory of subject formation implicit in such other works of the author as Bodies That Matter On the Discursive Limits of Sex and Gender Trouble Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.
    The Psychic Life of Power Theories in Subjection As a form of power subjection is paradoxical To be dominated by a power external to oneself is a familiar and agonizing form power takes To find however that what one is one s very formation as a

    One thought on “The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection”

    1. In The Psychic Life of Power, Butler first surveys Hegelian, Althusserian and Foucaultian ideas around subject formation, interrogating how power produces its subject and how that subject comes to perceive itself as one She tackles the notion of interpellation in Althusser where one is hailed and turns around to face the Law, which allows one to recognize him herself as a subject subjected to that Law But how does one know that one is being hailed, or why does one feel the need to turn around an [...]

    2. I really don t see the point of this book at all Power inscribes itself upon us all from within yes, but are we not inherently always already free So should we have sympathy for the oppressed Plus, does a book like this, clearly written for an academic audience to be discussed on the conference circuit have a certain futility to it She never addresses the deconstruction of theory in favor of praxis and does a book like this ever actually reach the people who need it most I m not certain that it [...]

    3. Bitch of a book to read due to complexity and requirement of previous extensive knowledge of theory, but overall amazing material Covers the inter relatedness with respect to subjegation regarding ideas presented by Freud, Althusser, Foucault, Lacan, and Nietzsche, among others Butler basically emphasizes that, heterosexual or homosexual, we are all subject to identity struggles as a result of the ideological constructs of power.

    4. This might not be any of the famous books by Butler, but if one wants to get an insight into a width of Butler s thinking, then this is certainly a book that is necessary to get acquainted with It follows up in a way from Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter in that Butler now treats carefully how the subject is being constituted if the willing agent is dead Butler in Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter goes in to a little detail about how an agent or subject is still possible without havin [...]

    5. Ah, Judy I like this book I ve been reading Gender Trouble for, like, a year and a half now I m still working on it This one s going a little faster, but only because I maybe will use it in a paper She s trying, in this one, to use Foucault, Lacan, and Althusser to explore subjectivity Each of those three theorists has a slightly different emphasis and she does a good job of making them harmonize.

    6. Accepting Foucault s thesis that power constitutes subjects, Butler attempts to explain how that happens After some intrresting summaries on Nietzasche, Foucault and Althusser, the athor presents her freudian explanaition the subjectivation is due to the unresolve grief that domination causes in us The same question is explored and better answered in Butler s Undoing Gender.

    7. Subjection The act or fact of being subjected, as under a monarch or other sovereign or superior power the state of being subject to, or under the dominion of another hence gen subordination .The condition of being subject, exposed, or liable to liability Logic The act of supplying a subject to a predicate Oxford English Dictionary To be dominated by a power external to oneself is a familiar and agonizing form power takes To find, however, that what one is, one s very formation as a subject, is [...]

    8. Best Butler book by far, though Gender Trouble opens up new amazing territory and Bodies that Matter is fascinating The Psychic Life of Power though builds on both those books to ask what truly lies beyond Foucault, even if we remain critical with respect to him What lies beyond power Her answer the psyche of psychoanalysis Thus the psychic life of power is truly an unbelievable construct, a combination of Freud and Lacan and Foucault to give thickness and agency to that spot where power contest [...]

    9. For a person with a very full life and lots of physical commitments this complex theoretical abstraction should Never have to be tackled in One Week actually 2 days given my time constraints It s my first semester of grad school and I ve been out of college for 5 years this book completely broke my balls.

    10. A really good critical discussion on Foucault, Hegel, psychonalysis, and Althusser Butler offers a really excellent feminist read of Michel Foucault and stakes a kind of question counter intuitive for many Foucaultian thinkers such as Nikolas Rose , what is the psychic form that power this power to turn an other takes

    11. The book for all who still habitually complain about Butler s impossible prose Very well written, approachable introduction to her killer take on gender and melancholia also featured in Gender Trouble, for instance Also a useful historical survey of continental approaches to subjection.

    12. i started but it just sold on cause i m so brokesies i m so depressed promise me, everyone, you won t let me forget to finish it i m going to try my best to read as much as possible before the post office closes.

    13. Purposefully difficult to read, which wasn t my real problem with the book I truly disliked when Butler used the same word, ex power four or times in one sentence.

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