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The sexual experience: Michael Foucault and the history of sexuality

O'Callaghan, Julie (2013) The sexual experience: Michael Foucault and the history of sexuality. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

This thesis offers a discussion of the central concepts informing Michel Foucault's The History of Sexuality project. Through his analysis, Foucault develops concepts in a bid to understand individual experiences of sexuality in different historical periods. His project investigates the repressive and productive effects of power in determining the sexual self. He argues that power and knowledge created new types of sexualities from the seventeen-century onward. In addition, he examines ethical problems associated with sex in classical Greece and early Christianity. Foucault claims that sexuality is a practice of self-formation and such that sexual freedom is experienced through the everyday care of the self. By developing his own style of historical investigation, Foucault argues there are different ways of thinking about history, which do not simply legitimate what is already known. This thesis seeks to demonstrate how Foucault's studies contribute to our historical and contemporary understanding of the experience of sexuality.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Supervisor: Evers, Barbara and Wickham, Gary
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/20854
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