Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter discusses Foucault’s account of power and introduces some of its most influential feminist appropriations. It explicates the key aspects of Foucault’s conception of productive power—disciplinary power, biopower, governmentality, and resistance—and examines the ways they have been taken up and disputed by feminist scholars. Although Foucault had little interest in the feminist politics of his time, his theorization of the various rationalities and technologies of power has both opened up new resources for feminist critique and been controversial among feminists. It has deepened our theoretical understanding of the constitution of gendered subjectivity and provided stimulus for political critiques of gender normalization, biopolitics, and neoliberalism. It has also challenged some of the most basic assumptions of feminist theory, however, such as the idea of woman as an emancipatory political identity, and the belief that women would have privileged critical insight into patriarchal societies.

Keywords: Foucault, microphysics of power, productive power, disciplinary power, biopower, governmentality, resistance, practices of the self

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.