• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Michel Foucault's work is one of the most influential sources of ideas in the humanities and social sciences today. Clare O'Farrell offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Foucault's enormous, diverse and challenging output. Her book provides a range of practical tools and a reference work for readers who wish to understand and apply his ideas at both introductory and advanced levels. This volume includes: a discussion of Foucault's situation in the contemporary context exploring his role as an iconic thinker, with clear explanations as to why his work is so difficult to come to grips with, and also importantly, why it is of interest to so many people; the location of Foucault's work within its own historical, social and political setting; brief summaries in chronological order of all of Foucault's major works, including the more recently published volumes of lectures; the organization of Foucault's work around five distinct but interrelated series of assumptions which underpin his world view: namely order, history, truth, power and ethics. Ideas for which he is well-known, such as archaeology, genealogy, discourse, discipline, governmentality, the subject and others are defined and discussed within the framework of these five assumptions. - a chronology of Foucault's life, work and times; a very extensive list of key concepts in Foucault's work with detailed references pointing to where the relevant material can be found in his writings; a wide-ranging list of resources and a bibliography of Foucault's work for easy consultation.

One a Cultural Icon
One a cultural icon

Since his death in 1984, Michel Foucault has emerged as a modern cultural icon – an iconic existence which, like his work, is plural and diverse. There is Foucault the gay saint who appears, for example, in David Halperin's work as an exemplar of a courageous champion of queer theory. There is Foucault the sinner who emerges in James Miller's biography, the tortured homosexual obsessed with death, who may or may not have deliberately infected his partners with AIDS. There is also Foucault the relentlessly erudite academic (and numbers of specialised texts testify to this), and Foucault the radical militant at demos and on protest committees (an image more widely propagated in France, particularly evident in photos, popular ...

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