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Foucault, Psychology and the Analytics of Power (Critical Theory and Practice in Psychology and the Human Sciences) 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0230008199
ISBN-10: 0230008194
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Editorial Reviews


'Psychology has been flirting with Foucault for almost as long as Foucault flirted with Psychology. Derek Hook's wonderful book explains why critical psychology should properly engage and gives us the tools to do so. Drawing on Foucault's recently available articles, his classic works and psychoanalytic theory, Hook offers major new analyses of spatiality, identity, racism, affective technologies and politicised subjectivities. The line of argument is brilliantly elaborated, bold and clear. Highly recommended.' Margie Wetherell, Professor of Social Psychology, Open University, UK

'This groundbreaking book provides an impassioned argument for Foucault that also locates the work in current debates in social and political theory. Hook's lucid writing has an urgency that draws the reader into a journey through theoretical debates that also makes them come alive as it addresses key political questions. This book combines elaboration and application in measures that will leave the reader with a thirst for more of the real critical-political Michel Foucault and admiration for an author who has at last shown us how to find him.' - Ian Parker, Professor of Psychology, Discourse Unit, Manchester, UK

'This book is an exercise in theoretical excavation in which Hook develops a series of provocative arguments - developed between Foucault and psychoanalysis - about the operations of power in the production of political subjectivies and affects.' - Professor Kevin Durrheim, Professor of Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

'This highly analytical...treatise provides an excellent conceptual foundation and reference for the conduct of Foucaultian research in various areas...the text is written with fluency, logically presented, and its arguments are introduced to readers using vivid language...[it] provides an excellent resource for health care professionals...[and] is an important contribution to critical social science research' - Ari Väänänen, Journal of Health Psychology

'In an age where arguably other critical theorists have superseded Foucault in terms of scholarly attention...Hook's contribution is timely and welcome...it will draw in a wide readership beyond psychology, including sociologists, human geographers and political scientists...I thoroughly enjoyed this excursion into Foucaultian territory, and Hook makes for a perceptive and provocative guide.' - Brendan Gough, British Journal of Sociology

'This exciting new text by Derek Hook represents a much needed elaboration of the application of Foucault's analytics of power for use within the discipline of psychology and the social sciences more broadly...Hook's close reading of Foucault's work demonstrates an in-depth knowledge of what is often a very dense body of work, and as a result he renders Foucault's key ideas in ways that are both highly readable and stimulating. The book will definitely be of interest to those working in the field of critical race and whiteness studies who are looking to draw upon the work of Foucault to conduct their own research, and will also provide a useful springboard for those wishing to further critique the functions of racialised power, both within Foucault's work and beyond.' - Damien W. Riggs, ACRAWSA

'Derek Hook has undeniably made a valuable contribution...[and] produced a readable, useable text. Whoever reads through these pages will arrive at a more sophisticated, more radical, and potentially more productive engagement with Foucault in psychology.' - Desmond Painter

'Hook gives an unusually rigorous rendering of Foucault's theories. He maintains an idea of the psychological as central to 'technologies of subjectivity and self' and reinstates psychological theory as an important player in research on power and its construction of individuality and subjectivity. He also demonstrates, usefully for that the practical application of this approach to empirical questions is not only feasible, but productive.' Professor Stephen Frosh, Birkbeck College, UK

'Hook's book is erudite, original and important. Most significantly it makes a major contribution to psychology through its engagement with the strengths and weaknesses of Foucault's work, and its commitment to going beyond critiques of psychology's disciplinary power, to champion the value of psychological concepts that help us understand power, subjectivity and social relations in all their complexity.' Professor Rosalind Gill, King's College, UK

'Through his original and provocative engagement with Foucault, Hook sets up an innovative dialogue with thinkers in the fields of sociology, philosophy and social and political theory. He uses Foucault's work as a prism to open up a variety of provocative methodologies to rejuvenate the fields of discourse analysis, the psychology of space-identity and the study of race and racism.' - Professor Catherine Campbell, London School of Economics, UK

'Derek Hook provides a sustained, profound, and deeply insightful reading of Foucualt's work on the "psy" sciences. I enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in grappling with the complex overlapping power dynamics that emanate from the discursive practices of the state through disciplinary power'. - Bradley Kaye, Foucault Studies

About the Author

Derek Hook is a Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK. He is the author of Foucault, Psychology and the Analytics of Power and A Critical Psychology of the Postcolonial . He is a research fellow of the Independent Social Research Foundation and a lead researcher in the Apartheid Archive Project.

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Product Details

  • Series: Critical Theory and Practice in Psychology and the Human Sciences
  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st edition (September 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230008194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230008199
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,656,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Given Foucault's critique of psychology and the related 'psy-disciplines', it is unsurprising that to date there have been only a few scattered treatments of the topic of 'Foucault and psychology'. Hook's text represents one of the most developed and sophisticated handlings of this theme. Not only does he introduce Foucault's criticisms of psychology, he also uses Foucault's writings on methodology (particularly Foucault's analyses of discourse, space and history) to develop important perspectives on the topics of subjectivity, racism and spatial-identity.

There is real originality in Hook's triangulation of a diverse range of psychoanalytic, postcolonial and Foucauldian critics (Adorno, Homi Bhabha, Judith Butler, Frantz Fanon and Nikolas Rose are all called upon), and in his idea of insidious 'affect positions'. Likewise, his critique of Nik Rose's work poses the question of whether any adequate critical analytics can overlook the affective and psychic dimensions of power. The proposed linking of psychoanalytic concepts (fantasy, affect, phobia) to a Foucauldian frame is an innovative contribution, though purist scholars of Foucault and psychoanalysis might resent the intrusion of what has traditionally been to each a rival school of thought.

Ultimately the book converts a bold opening assertion - that Foucault is of more use to us today as methodologist than as grand theorist - into a diverse set of approaches to the analysis of power. This is probably its greatest achievement, linking a Foucauldian ethos to a variety of provocative research methodologies, rather than delimiting a Foucauldian approach to the prescriptions of any one analytical strategy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A clearly written overview and penetrating critique of how Foucault has been taken up in psychology. More than that, Hook articulates and demonstrates by example the possibilities for a critical psychological practice.
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