The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection

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9780804728126: 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 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 more 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.

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Review:

Judith Butler's writing has become a cornerstone of queer theory. In Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity and Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex, she drew upon Freud, Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan to explore the connections between sex, politics, and identity, and The Psychic Life of Power continues her inquiry into these ideas. While she revisits, and revises, some of her earlier thoughts--such as her theory of gender as performance--she breaks much new ground here. Using Hegel and Nietzsche (as well as a critique of psychoanalysis) for theoretical support, Butler probes how the idea of "subjection"--to become a subject, to have a consciousness--interfaces with having a gay or lesbian identity. Discussing such topics as drag, gays-in-the-military, and AIDS to illustrate her ideas, Butler manages to locate her philosophical theories in a concrete world, and although her earlier work could sometimes be as dense as it was rewarding, The Psychic Life of Power is lucid and highly readable. --Michael Bronski

From the Back Cover:

“The emergence of self-consciousness is rooted in paradox—for becoming a subject is intricately bound up with being subjected. This insight . . . is explored and developed as [Butler’s] book unfolds, taking the reader through a tour de force of its rhetorical, linguistic, philosophical, psychoanalytic, and social and political implications.”—Modern Psychoanalysis

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Judith P. Butler
Editore: Stanford University Press, United States (1997)
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Descrizione libro Stanford University Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.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 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 more 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. Codice libro della libreria AAV9780804728126

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Descrizione libro Stanford University Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. 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 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 more 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. Codice libro della libreria AAV9780804728126

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Descrizione libro Paperback. Condizione libro: New. 1st. 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, .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 228 pages. 0.263. Codice libro della libreria 9780804728126

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Descrizione libro Stanford University Press. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 228 pages. Dimensions: 7.8in. x 5.5in. x 0.6in.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, ones 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 more 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. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780804728126

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