Resisting Foucault: the Necessity of Appropriation

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Abstract

Michel Foucault's legacy muddies theoretical waters, forcing strange synergies and theoretical configurations. Growing from the murky ferment of French colonial history, the father of poststructuralism's story is as complex as that encounter, and his legacy is as mutating, unsettling and transformative. This paper focuses on the mutation and use of Foucault by Edward Said and, in a smaller but parallel way, on the transformative relationship between poststructuralism and postcolonialism. Through that focus, the paper offers a defence of a strategic or amateuristic theoretical appropriation of Foucault's work, both as an unavoidable necessity, and as a methodology of resistance to discipline and power which marries with the oeuvre and the tenor of Foucault.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-596
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Identities: Journal for the study of race, nation and culture
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Appropriation
  • Discourse
  • Edward said
  • Foucault
  • Hegemony
  • Postcolonialism

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