Self-transformations by Cressida J. Heyes
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By Cressida J. Heyes


Foucault, Ethics, and Normalized Bodies

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Format: Paperback

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Self-transformations by Cressida J. Heyes

Book Description

Heyes' monograph in feminist philosophy is on the connection between the idea of "normalization"-which per Foucault is a mode or force of control that homogenizes a population-and the gendered body. Drawing on Foucault and Wittgenstein, she argues that the predominant picture of the self-a picture that presupposes an "inner" core of the self that is expressed, accurately or not, by the outer body-obscures the connection between contemporary discourses and practices of self-transformation and the forces of normalization. In other words, pictures of the self can hold us captive when they are being read from the outer self-the body-rather than the inner self, and we can express our inner self by working on our outer body to conform. Articulating this idea with a mix of the theoretical and the practical, she looks at case studies involving transgender people, weight-loss dieting, and cosmetic surgery. Her concluding chapters look at the difficult issue of how to distinguish non-normalizing practices of the self from normalizing ones, and makes suggestions about how feminists might conceive of subjects as embodied and enmeshed in power relations yet also capable of self-transformation. The subject of normalization and its relationship to sex/gender is a major one in feminist theory; Heyes' book is unique in her masterful use of Foucault; its clarity, and its sophisticated mix of the theoretical and the anecdotal. It will appeal to feminist philosophers and theorists.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195310542
ISBN-10: 0195310543
Format: Paperback
(155mm x 20mm x 235mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 23-Aug-2007
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Cressida J. Heyes

Cosmetic Surgery by Cressida J. Heyes Cosmetic Surgery, Hardback (July 2009)

Practices of cosmetic surgery have grown exponentially in both over-developed and developing worlds. This book reveals the complexity of feminist engagements with cosmetic surgery that still remains vastly more popular among women.

Grammar of Politics by Cressida J. Heyes Grammar of Politics, Paperback (March 2003)

This book demonstrates the variety of ways political philosophers understand Wittgenstein's importance to their discipline and apply Wittgensteinian methods to their own projects.

Line Drawings by Cressida J. Heyes Line Drawings, Paperback (April 2000)

At the heart of feminist theory lies the seemingly intractable issue of essentialism. Feminism has thus far failed to transcend critiques of essentialism and currently offers only two inadequate positions against it. One response reifies the category...

» View all books by Cressida J. Heyes


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