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Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975 Paperback – August 12, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Lectures at the Collège de France (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312424051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312424053
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The importance of these lectures is that they are directly connected with two of Foucault's greatest books, Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality: An Introduction. Because they are clear and to the point, the lectures throw considerable light on the more difficult ideas and passages of their related published works. (The Stranger)

About the Author

The works of Michel Foucault include Madness and Civilization, The History of Sexuality, and Discipline and Punish. Series editor Arnold I. Davidson teaches at the University of Chicago and is executive editor of the journal Critical Inquiry.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steiner VINE VOICE on February 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Foucault's 1974-1975 lecture series on abnormality is a typically brilliant assessment of the historical configuration of three figures, namely, the monster, the criminal/individual to be corrected, and the onanist. This is a remarkable achievement of empirical research; Foucault has filled in the gaps between the brilliant concepts developed through 'The History of Madness,' to 'Discipline and Punish,' and has provided the historical details to his archeological project. This particular series of lectures traces the complex interstices between criminality, abnormality and sexuality and provides a clean analysis of the grid of power relations immanent in these respective domains. Foucault's analysis of the medicalization/psychiatrization of crime is particularly brilliant, and I found his linkage with modern psychiatry to modern racism to be a truly original insight-though I would have liked to see further analysis of the latter connection. There is much room for future theorists in the social sciences and humanities here-Foucault's historical tool box is a rich one, and his attention to fine historical specificities continues to impress.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By N. Perz on March 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are familiar with Foucault, then saying that "Abnormal" is in many ways a continuation of "Discipline and Punish" should be enough.

"Abnormal" deals with how social constructs are invented through historical process (in this case, the "monster.") What is crime? What is normalcy? What is beyond the pale? How are these things decided/invented? It's heavy stuff but very interesting (especially if you have any interest in law, criminology, or sociology).

If you have never read Foucault, then don't start with this work. Foucault is a difficult read (although not as bad as Derrida or Habermas) and "Abnormal" is for the student/reader who is already familiar with his philosophy. "Discipline and Punish" is probably a better place to start.

Do read this book, however, whether it be now or later. I don't think it an exaggeration to say that Foucault is one of the most important thinkers since Marx. Foucault is the wellspring of Postmodernism and worth the effort.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chathan Vemuri on December 21, 2014
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The discussions of hermaphroditism and onanism alone are reason enough to read this course. They set the stage for what were supposed to be parts of the 6 volume History of Sexuality series. However, after the first volume was published, Foucault abandoned the project to re-orient his research and refine his queries. Reading this course gives us a good indication of what that original series would have been about.
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Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975
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