The Psychic Life of Power
As a form of power, subjection is paradoxical.
To be dominated by a power external to oneself is a familiar and agonizing form power takes. To find, however, that what "one" is, one's very formation as a subject, is dependent upon that very power is quite another.
If, following Foucault, we understand power as forming the subject as well, it provides the very condition of its existence and the trajectory of its desire.
Power is not simply what we depend on for our existence but that which forms reflexivity as well. Drawing upon Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault, and Althusser, this challenging and lucid work offers a theory of subject formation that illuminates as ambivalent the psychic effects of social power.
- 1997 Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
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