ISBN is

978-0-8047-2811-9 / 0804728119

The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection

by Butler, Judith

Publisher:Stanford University Press

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

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

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