Towards a critical ontology of ourselves? Foucault, subjectivity and discourse analysis,

Date

2010

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1461-7447
0959-3543

Volume Title

Publisher

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Applications of Foucault’s work in psychology have been criticised for using an under-theorised notion of discourse. This has recently been addressed by Hook, who provides a timely and detailed consideration of the implications of Foucault’s theoretical and methodological writings on genealogy. Hook’s work also hints at but leaves unaddressed the challenge for critical psychology of accounting for Foucault’s concerns with the constitution and experience of forms of subjectivity. In relation to this challenge, we contend that Foucault’s work can productively be understood as a series of analyses comprising a tripartite critical ontology with significant concerns for subjectivity and individual conduct. We set out this reading and briefly explore Foucault’s intellectual debt to Heidegger. We argue that this suggests the possibility of a form of discourse analysis conceptualised along similar lines to Foucault’s “critical ontology of ourselves.” This is illustrated with some examples from recent research.

Description

Keywords

Foucault, Psychology, Discourse analysis, Learning disability, Community Care, Heidegger

Citation

Yates, S. and Hiles, D. (2010) Towards a critical ontology of ourselves? Foucault, subjectivity and discourse analysis. Theory & Psychology, 20 (1), pp. 52-75

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care