Governmentality, Critical Scholarship, and the Medical Humanities

Petersen, Alan
December 2003
Journal of Medical Humanities;Winter2003, Vol. 24 Issue 3/4, p187
Academic Journal
Foucault's work has had a profound impact on the medical humanities over the last decade or so. However, most work to date has focused on Foucault's earlier writings rather than his later contributions on the self and governmentality. This article assesses the significance of the concept of governmentality for critical scholarship in the medical humanities, particularly in creating ethical awareness in the field of health care. It examines the context for Foucault's later work, and contributions arising from scholarship building on this work. The governmentality literature, it is argued, raises novel questions about the ways we have come to think about health care in late modern societies. However, there are some limitations with this body of work which have not been fully acknowledged by scholars. The article discusses some of these limitations and offers some suggestions for a fruitful way forward.


Related Articles

  • The Return of the Subject? Horrocks, Chris; Jevtic, Zoran // Introducing Foucault;9/ 1/2004, p152 

    The article reports that despite all of the attempts of the French historian and philosopher Michel Foucault to get rid of the human individual as a subject of his work, he still focuses on sexuality, the self, individualization and self-control or will. It also indicates that Foucault's view of...

  • Reproductive Technologies of the Self: Michel Foucault and Meta-Narrative-Ethics. Goldstein, Daniel M. // Journal of Medical Humanities;Winter2003, Vol. 24 Issue 3/4, p229 

    This paper presents a direction for narrative ethics based on ethical ideas found in the works of Michel Foucault. Narrative ethics is understood here at the meta-level of cultural discourse to see how the moral subject is constituted by the discursive practices that structure the contemporary...

  • Foucault, Ethical Self-concern and the Other. Cordner, Christopher // Philosophia;Dec2008, Vol. 36 Issue 4, p593 

    In his later writings on ethics Foucault argues that rapport à soi – the relationship to oneself – is what gives meaning to our commitment to ‘moral behaviour’. In the absence of rapport à soi, Foucault believes, ethical adherence collapses into obedience to...

  • Ethical Concerns. Horrocks, Chris; Jevtic, Zoran // Introducing Foucault;9/ 1/2004, p147 

    The article states that philosopher Michel Foucault wanted to know how sexual behaviour became a domain of moral experience. It suggests that in doing so, Foucault tried to identify fields of ancient Greek practices where the stylization of the self was emphasized. The ethical concerns in...

  • The Care of the Self. Horrocks, Chris; Jevtic, Zoran // Introducing Foucault;9/ 1/2004, p153 

    The article focuses on the French historian and philosopher Michel Foucault's The Care of the Self, which is the third and final volume of the "History of Sexuality." It indicates that this work of Foucault focused more on the first two centuries AD in the Hellenic and Roman world and also the...

  • Subjekt diskontinuitete kot nerazreÅ¡ena Foucaultova dediščina. . Benčin, Rok // Filozofski Vestnik;2009, Vol. 30 Issue 3, p155 

    This article deals with the problems Foucault's work is faced with when entering its later phase. The analysis of discontinuities in history is replaced by an analysis of continuities in subjectifying sexuality. If in the first part of The History of Sexuality the subject was still the effect of...

  • Knowledge is power. McClimens, Alex // Learning Disability Practice;Jun2010, Vol. 13 Issue 5, p8 

    The author discusses the theories of philosopher Michel Foucault on the medical profession, including his concepts of "the gaze" and "docile bodies."

  • Foucault and the Unfinished Human of Rights. Golder, Ben // Law, Culture & the Humanities;Oct2010, Vol. 6 Issue 3, p354 

    This article argues that in his late work Foucault does not submit to the ''moral superiority'' of humanism and introduce a liberal humanist subject. Rather, Foucault's late investigations of subjectivity constitute a continuation and not a radical departure from his earlier positions on the...

  • A Foucauldian Foray into the New Genetics. Coors, Marilyn E. // Journal of Medical Humanities;Winter2003, Vol. 24 Issue 3/4, p279 

    A Foucauldian assessment of the common presumption that genetic information is potent and thus oppressive demonstrates that the concern may be misplaced. Foucault's concept of “technologies of self” reveals that genetic power originates not only from the potency of genetic...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics