Self-Transformations

Self-Transformations

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Heyes' monograph in feminist philosophy is on the connection between the idea of qnormalizationq--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 qinnerq 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.... 94, 100 and suffering, 107, 108a€“9, 121 (see also ressentiment) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) ... Makeover, 13, 96, 110, 126, 144n .8 and authenticity, 100, 102 and class, 98 and disability, 97a€“8 158 INDEX C D E.


Title:Self-Transformations
Author: Cressida J. Heyes
Publisher:Oxford University Press - 2007-08-16
ISBN-13:

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