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Pornography and power in Michel Foucault’s thought

Kurylo, B; (2017) Pornography and power in Michel Foucault’s thought. Journal of Political Power , 10 (1) pp. 71-84. 10.1080/2158379X.2017.1284157. Green open access

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This paper reconstructs Michel Foucault’s account of pornography by placing it into his theory of power. To explain the novelty of Foucault’s position, it counterpoises it with anti-pornography feminism and its analysis of the modern state. The paper argues that Foucault considered pornography to be a strategy of biopower to regulate individual sexual conduct. By inciting the discourse on sex, pornography participates in the production of truth about sex. Through confession, its consumers discover their sexual identities, becoming self-regulating. The result is a proliferation of sexualities, but also their rigidification and categorisation, leading to a mass deployment of perversion.

Type: Article
Title: Pornography and power in Michel Foucault’s thought
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/2158379X.2017.1284157
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2158379X.2017.1284157
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Pornography, power, Michel Foucault, sexuality, radical feminism
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058237
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