essay 3

essay 3 - Kwok 1 Hiu Yan Grace Kwok Section 35223R Essay #3...

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Kwok 1 Hiu Yan Grace Kwok Section 35223R Essay #3 March 24, 2008 The Equation of Discourse with Repression/Liberation When one talks about sexuality, one assumes it to be an intimate thing between two parties and within the private domain. Nevertheless, according to Michel Foucault, sexuality is manipulated in the public domain and intertwined with different kinds of power relations. In The History of Sexuality , Foucault unveils the progression of sexuality and the complexity and interdependence of it and power. Under the Victorian regime, sex is a taboo, something that should not be spoken of. Nowadays, although people talk more about sex, it remains repressed. The repressive hypothesis, Foucault argues, is merely a precondition for the proliferation of multiple sexual discourses. Through simultaneously censoring the language used and bringing to surface a wider variety of sexual preferences and practices, institutions impose round-the-clock surveillance on sexuality and create a plethora of so-called “perversions.” Sexual preferences and practices that are contradicting social norms are demonized and even criminalized. Sexuality, therefore, is a “dense transfer point for relations of power: between men and women, young people and old people, parents and offspring, teachers and students, priests and laity, an administration and a population” (Foucault 103). Power is operated in alternate ways: institutions like family, media and government exert their power on the public so that their power as well as the capitalist economy are secured. Sexuality is an instrument for power that is hierarchal in terms of race, gender, and age. In contemporary culture, many figures and incidents exemplify making sexuality function in the terrain of power. New York governor Eliot Spitzer and advocates of sex laws that target at minors are typical examples in that they hypocritically and superficially uphold what is considered sexually
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This note was uploaded on 01/28/2009 for the course ARLT 100 taught by Professor Thompson during the Spring '07 term at USC.

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essay 3 - Kwok 1 Hiu Yan Grace Kwok Section 35223R Essay #3...

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