Introduction: The Problem of the Family in Foucault's Work

DUSCHINSKY, ROBBIE and Rocha, Leon (2012) Introduction: The Problem of the Family in Foucault's Work. In: Foucault, the Family and Politics. Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 1-15. ISBN 9780230348479, 9781349345656, 9781137291288

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Introduction: The Problem of the Family in Foucault's Work

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The index of Dits et écrits, which contain all of Michel Foucault’s writings and interviews besides his monographs, does not have an entry for ‘family’. In part, this is because almost none of the voluminous books and articles produced by Foucault directly offer sustained discussion of the family. Le Désordre des familles (with Arlette Farge, 1982), for instance, brings together letters between family members and the state regarding the incarceration of abnormal or delinquent individuals in eighteenth-century France, but contains no in-depth theorisation on families. There is some discussion of ‘the marital role’ in some chapters of The History of Sexuality, Volume 2 and Volume 3 (first published in French in 1984), but Foucault’s account sticks closely to the primary texts. Although contributing an incisive account of ethical subjectivity, these chapters by Foucault have not generally been seen as a theoretical contribution on the topic of the family. The family can seem like a spectre in the works Foucault that published in his lifetime: an amorphous, somewhat shapeless thing that he consistently mentions, flirtatiously alludes to and fleetingly gestures towards. Yet the family is a crucial theme in the Collège de France lecture series given between 1973 and 1978. In these lectures, Foucault explores the transformation of familial dynamics – most notably at the intersection between kinship, sexuality and the state – that occurred with the rise of the bourgeoisie in the nineteenth century.

Keywords:Political Sociology, Intellectual History, Michel Foucault (1926-1984), Gender Studies, Political Philosophy
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
L Social studies > L380 Political Sociology
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V340 Intellectual History
L Social studies > L370 Social Theory
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V140 Modern History
L Social studies > L320 Gender studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V220 European History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:34991
Deposited On:19 Feb 2019 12:46

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