Foucault and Butler on Gender Comparison Essay by anvilman

Foucault and Butler on Gender
A comparative analysis of the different approaches of Michel Foucault and Judith Butler in tackling the construction of sexuality and gender.
# 91514 | 1,828 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2006 | CA
Published on Jan 29, 2007 in English (Comparison) , Gender and Sexuality (Gender Studies) , Philosophy (General)


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Description:

This paper examines how, in the introduction to the "History of Sexuality", Foucault argues that in the 17th century the role of sex and sexual activity in the discourse of western society made a fundamental and radical change. It also looks at how, in "Discipline and Punish", Foucault argues that obsessions over sexuality and society's approval or disapproval of specific actions occurs because of the infinite diffusion of power which is found as the basis of western society. In comparison, it looks at how two decades later, Butler employed themes from Foucault's philosophy in order to argue her case for the arbitrariness of anatomical sex, gender identity and gender performance. It shows that through the arguments in her work, "Gender Trouble", Butler concludes that there is no essential relationship between a person's anatomical sex, her self-identified gender and the gender performance she enacts to fulfill society's expectations of the norm.

From the Paper:

"Foucault's analysis of discourses on sex comes as a reaction to the more commonly-held belief that there was a society-wide discourse of repression in regards to sex. Foucault argues against this; he questions whether or not "sexual repression is truly an established historical fact"; whether "prohibition, censorship, and denial truly the forms through which power is exercised in a general way, if not in every society, most certainly in our own"; and whether "there really was a historical rupture between the age of repression and the critical analysis of repression". Foucault argues that through the evolution of Christian pastoral practices, specifically that of confessions regarding sexual sins, society was compelled to begin an elaborate and never-ceasing discourse on sex. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Butler, Judith. "Gender Trouble." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001.
  • Foucalt, Michel. "Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001.
  • Foucalt, Michel. "The History of Sexuality." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Foucault and Butler on Gender (2007, January 29) Retrieved April 23, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/foucault-and-butler-on-gender-91514/

MLA Format

"Foucault and Butler on Gender" 29 January 2007. Web. 23 April. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/foucault-and-butler-on-gender-91514/>

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