A Foucault for the 21st Century: Governmentality, Biopolitics and Discipline in the New Millennium
Editor: Sam Binkley and Jorge Capetillo
Date Of Publication: Apr 2009
How relevant is Foucault’s social thought to the world we inhabit today?
This collection comprises several essays considering the contemporary relevance of the work of Michel Foucault. While Foucault is best remembered for his historical inquiries into the origins of “disciplinary” society in a period extending from the 16th to the 19th centuries, it seems that today, under the conditions of global modernity, the relevance of his ideas are called into question. With the increasing ubiquity of markets, the break up of centralized states and the dissolution of national boundaries, together with new scientific and political discourses on biological life, the world of today seems far removed from the bounded, disciplinary societies Foucault described in his most famous books. Yet in recent years, it has become apparent that Foucault’s thoughts on modern society have not been exhausted, and, indeed, that much remains to be explored. Within this volume, novel interpretations and thematic developments of key Foucauldian concepts are presented in the works of 24 authors. Prominent among them are new forms of neoliberal economic conduct framed by distinct governmentalities; new critical concepts of biological life reflected in Foucault’s analysis of biopower, and new theoretical treatments of the effects of subjectivation. Moreover, included among these theoretical departures are empirical studies of contemporary formations of religion and spiritual practice, consumerism, race and racism, the discourse of genetics and the life sciences, surveillance and incarceration, and new social movements. Drawn from a conference held at the University of Massachusetts, Boston bearing the same title, A Foucault for the 21st Century: Governnentality, Biopolitics and Discipline in the New Millennium both expands our understanding of Foucault’s central theoretical legacy, and applies his ideas to a range of contemporary empirical phenomena.
Sam Binkley is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Emerson College, Boston. His research considers the historical and social production of subjectivity in the context of lifestyle practices. He has studied lifestyle movements of the 1970s, contemporary anti-consumerist lifestyles, consumer cultures under Cuban socialism, and the temporality of neo-liberalism. He has also written on the theoretical contributions of Pierre Bourdieu, Norbert Elias and Michel Foucault. His recent monograph, Getting Loose: Lifestyle Consumption in the 1970s (Duke University Press, 2007), examines the role of lifestyle discourse in the shaping of reflexive subjectivity, and its ultimate influence on lifestyle branding. He currently serves as co-editor of the journal Foucault Studies, and his articles have appeared in the Journal of Consumer Culture, Time and Society, Cultural Studies, Rethinking Marxism, The European Journal of Cultural Studies and the Journal for Cultural Research. He is currently working on a new book on happiness.
Jorge Capetillo-Ponce is presently Director of Latino Studies, Associate Professor of Sociology and Research Associate at the Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development at University of Massachusetts-Boston. Before joining UMass Boston, Dr. Capetillo-Ponce worked as Executive Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York City and as advisor to Latino grassroots organizations in New York and Massachusetts. He has publications on such issues as social theory, race and ethnic relations, media studies, Latino Studies, and U.S.-Latin America relations. Dr. Capetillo-Ponce is the editor of the book Images of Mexico in the U.S. News Media. His latest publications are Deciphering the Labyrinth: The Influence of Georg Simmel on the Sociology of Octavio Paz; Politics, Ethnicity, and Bilingual Education in Massachusetts; From 'A Clash of Civilizations' to 'Internal Colonialism': Reactions to the Theoretical Bases of Samuel Huntington's 'The Hispanic Challenge’; Framing the ‘Taxes and Undocumented Workers’ Debate: A Critical Review of Texts Supporting Pro-Enforcement Policies and Practices;“Foucault, Marxism, and the Cuban Revolution: Historical and Contemporary Reflections); Foucault and the ‘New Man’: Conversations on Foucault in Cuba; On Borderlands and Bridges: An Inquiry into Gloria Anzaldúa’s Methodology (forthcoming)
"...the editors have provided a broad cross-section of essays that take Foucault's ideas in interesting directions"
P. Taylor Trussell, Independent Scholar in Foucault Studies, No. 8 Feb 2010
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Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)