Essay on Michael Foucault

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His research is often described as postmodernist and post-structuralism (Wikipedia Encyclopedia).

Foucault focused on the dangers posed by psychoanalysis in the development of a disciplinary society (Milchman, Rosenberg 2003). One of the main reasons that Foucault emphasized on the subject of psychoanalysis is because it is a topic on which modern thought processes are based.

The way we see our selves, our surroundings and the reality around us are all based on psychoanalysis.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s many renowned scientists of the time designated homosexuality as pathological and ill. On the other hand, the adoption of heterosexual behavior (even for the homosexuals) was deemed as correct and righteous. Foucault was highly concerned about the cruelty imposed by various institutions on patients who were not deemed as proper in the face of the society in general. Hence, this justifies his reasons for providing sufficient warnings about the dangers of psychoanalysis. The Foucault methodology does not imply how a person should be but rather focuses on the reasons behind certain behavioral patterns of the patient. Until recently gays did not have any rights in the western society. and neither did children, the old, the mentally ill and the criminals. Foucault has laid the groundwork in his studies to provide these subjugated and oppressed members of the society with proper and due rights.

It has been mentioned in a paper by Pryce (1999) that psychoanalysis may be used to obtain information of a “confessional nature” from a patient. This information may be about a topic that the patient is unable to discuss (such as sexual abuse). Three basic steps are used for the process of receiving such information. The direct citation from the paper is given as follows.

“First, the medical consultation and examination includes asking the client questions concerning the particulars of sexual activities, orientation and risk behaviors and then physically examining the client. These are often illustrated using preprinted, small diagram of disembodied genitalia or rectum where the physician indicates the site of a lesion by inscribing an X’. Second, during specimen collections and treatments conducted by nurses there is a professional incitement to confess feelings and disclosure of psychosocial dimensions of sexuality. Third, the role of the health advisor and/or psychologist may include that of counselor utilizing some techniques and methods derived from formal counseling and psychology, whereby the client speaks the sin by naming it.”

Sexuality and Foucault’s Work

In accordance to Foucault’s work sexuality can be viewed in two different ways. The eastern society (e.g. India) sees sexuality as an art form (e.g. Kamasutra), whereas the other type of society thinks of sexuality as something to be shameful of and to hide from the public eye. However, in the case of Western society has resulted in the ideology of “confession.” This includes confessions about one’s sexuality and sexual origins. Get assignment help here

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