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Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self Paperback – May 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-1853434440 ISBN-10: 1853434442 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Free Association Books; 2 edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853434442
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853434440
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #555,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Lance on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is Nikolas Rose's masterpiece about neoliberalism's attempts at "governance at a distance". Governing the soul is basically a euphemism for the attempt by neoliberal regimes to get citizens to govern themselves. Why get citizens to govern themselves? So the state can do, in the words of Osborne and Gaebler in Reinventing Government, "less of the rowing and more of the steering". There is a view that the welfare state had intervened too much into the day-to-day lives of citizens that civil society had become dependent on the government to meet their needs. Governing the soul means transforming those who had become dependent on the government into autonomous "selves" capable of carrying out self-governance. There is a notion that the self is not a given, as the humanist conception of self advocates, but is created through the choices we make. If you don't like who you are, make yourself up as someone different. Thus, governing the soul is directly related to governing through choice/freedom--a key aspect of "rule at a distance". This conception of self as "made up" can be seen today in the many talk shows, namely Oprah Winfrey, in which people are transformed from the lowly selves they were into the new selves they want to be through the process of choice. I would recommend this book to any who like Foucault's works because Rose's Foucauldian roots are clear in his arguments about nothing being given and everything being the product of history--"the history of the present" is a Foucauldian idea. Also, I would recommend Graham Burchell's works on "techniques of the self" because these techniques are actually analogous to Rose's "governing the soul".
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By JUJU on October 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
on time, good quality, a nice book, it is an inspiring book. Nicolas Rose's comprehension and application of Foucault's idea is really smart.
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