Tag: Michel Foucault
Think back to your high school sex education classes (assuming you had any). If they were anything like mine, they were limited to images of putrefying genitals — blighted with some or other sexually transmitted illness — and birth control (“Be wise, condomise!”).
Thompson’s critical conception of ideology is useful critical analysis due its limited definition of power, in terms of the establishment and sustainment of relations of domination through ‘symbolic forms’. But where this conception is useful in the detection of these relations of domination and the social inequalities that result, Foucault’s more pervasive definition of power in ‘knowledge’ is useful in identifying discourse and its effect on the subject. Additionally, Foucault’s concepts of ‘regimes of truth’ and ‘the subject’ counters aspects of Thompson’s theorisation on the ‘social location’ of the individual in a social hierarchy of power, and both theorists emphasize the social-historical context of an ideology or discourse.