The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection PDF



10 thoughts on “The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection

  1. Erdem Tasdelen Erdem Tasdelen says:

    In The Psychic Life of Power, Butler first surveys Hegelian, Althusserian and Foucaultian ideas around subject formation, interrogating how power produces its subject and how that subject comes to perceive itself as one She tackles the notion of interpellation in Althusser where one is hailed and turns around to face the Law, which allows one to recognize him herself as a subject subjected to that Law But how does one know that one is being hailed, or why does one feel the need to turn around In The Psychic Life of Power, Butler first surveys Hegelian, Althusserian and Foucaultian ideas around subject formation, interrogating how power produces its subject and how that subject comes to perceive itself as one She tackles the notion of interpellation in Althusser where one is hailed and turns around to face the Law, which allows one to recognize him herself as a subject subjected to that Law But how does one know that one is being hailed, or why does one feel the need to turn around and look at the power which subordinates him her Does this not imply that a subject is already at hand, exercising its subjecthood through interpellation One critical point that Butler draws attention to is that the notion of the subject should not be interchangeable with the person or the individual, and should rather be designated as a linguistic category, a place holder, a structure in formation One finds here a grammatical incommensurability, where whether subjection precedes or succeeds subjecthood is left vague The Foucaltian account analyzes subjection as an exercise of power whereby the subject is the very instrument of power as well as its subject, but Butler asserts that the subject can not be reduced to the power by which it is occasioned, nor can the power by which it is occasioned be reducible to the subject Subordination, however, is the very entity which allows the existence of the subject to be something in order to not be something else , but exposing conscience as a fiction does not imply that it is an unnecessary fiction, because without such fiction a grammatical and phenomenological subject can not exist.Butler then turns to mourning and melancholia in psychoanalysis as the instruments of gender identification Gender melancholy here is the process in which the foreclosure of love for someone of the same sex prevents mourning from happening, and Freud describes melancholia as that which does not declare the object of loss or loss itself melancholia is precisely the effect of unavowable loss The internalization of this undeclared loss in the ego leads to an identification with the object of love passion I can t be male and love a man, and that love has to be rejected to such a degree that I have to assume the role of the one that I m unable to love I have to assert my masculinity to denounce the possibility of myself ever loving or having loved a man This is a very interesting venture into gender formation in the psyche, but I m not sure whether I understand exactly what it is that allows for one to overcome such foreclosure and announce one s homosexuality Is homosexuality then a mourning for the foreclosure of love of the opposite sex


  2. Erin Kelley Erin Kelley says:

    Bitch of a book to read due to complexity and requirement of previous extensive knowledge of theory, but overall amazing material Covers the inter relatedness with respect to subjegation regarding ideas presented by Freud, Althusser, Foucault, Lacan, and Nietzsche, among others Butler basically emphasizes that, heterosexual or homosexual, we are all subject to identity struggles as a result of the ideological constructs of power.


  3. Bradley Bradley says:

    I really don t see the point of this book at all Power inscribes itself upon us all from within yes, but are we not inherently always already free So should we have sympathy for the oppressed Plus, does a book like this, clearly written for an academic audience to be discussed on the conference circuit have a certain futility to it She never addresses the deconstruction of theory in favor of praxis and does a book like this ever actually reach the people who need it most I m not cer I really don t see the point of this book at all Power inscribes itself upon us all from within yes, but are we not inherently always already free So should we have sympathy for the oppressed Plus, does a book like this, clearly written for an academic audience to be discussed on the conference circuit have a certain futility to it She never addresses the deconstruction of theory in favor of praxis and does a book like this ever actually reach the people who need it most I m not certain that it does, but hopefully there is a trickle down effect in the midst of the Mass Media Hyperbole that dominates contemporary modes of subjection one can hope, right


  4. Guilherme Smee Guilherme Smee says:

    Eu j havia lido a grande maioria dos livros da fil sofa p s estruturalista, feminista, inspirador ada teoria queer e genial Judith Butler, mas n o havia tido contato ainda com A vida ps quica do poder Teorias da sujei o O motivo talvez fosse porque esse livro aparentemente n o lida com sexualidade e identidade de g nero Mas ao ler este livro posso dizer que praticamente toda obra de Judith Butler atravessa as motiva es dos constrangimentos que perpassam a sexualidade e a assun o de uma id Eu j havia lido a grande maioria dos livros da fil sofa p s estruturalista, feminista, inspirador ada teoria queer e genial Judith Butler, mas n o havia tido contato ainda com A vida ps quica do poder Teorias da sujei o O motivo talvez fosse porque esse livro aparentemente n o lida com sexualidade e identidade de g nero Mas ao ler este livro posso dizer que praticamente toda obra de Judith Butler atravessa as motiva es dos constrangimentos que perpassam a sexualidade e a assun o de uma identidade de g nero Neste, est no subt tulo as teorias de sujei o s quais nos submetemos a poderes que vieram anteriormente a nossa realidade para que a definissem nos seus moldes Para chegar a essas conclus es ela se utiliza de outros te ricos que usava em outros trabalhos, como Hegel, e fortemente apoiada em Nietzsche e Freud Contudo, em A vida ps quica do poder, a primeira vez que ela se utiliza de Althusser exatamente para pensar nos atravessamentos do poder na ideologia atrav s da sujei o a um conjunto de ideias Um livro muito bom de Judith Butler, mas considero outros dela ainda melhores


  5. Joseph Sverker Joseph Sverker says:

    This might not be any of thefamous books by Butler, but if one wants to get an insight into a width of Butler s thinking, then this is certainly a book that is necessary to get acquainted with It follows up in a way from Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter in that Butler now treatscarefully how the subject is being constituted if the willing agent is dead Butler in Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter goes in to a little detail about how an agent or subject is still possible w This might not be any of thefamous books by Butler, but if one wants to get an insight into a width of Butler s thinking, then this is certainly a book that is necessary to get acquainted with It follows up in a way from Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter in that Butler now treatscarefully how the subject is being constituted if the willing agent is dead Butler in Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter goes in to a little detail about how an agent or subject is still possible without having an essentialist or existentialist starting point.After reading those books one will most likely come to the conclusion that it has much to do with performativity and reiterability However, it is a little difficult to get an idea of how this really work At least it kind of left me wanting The Psychic Life of Power fills in some of the gaps As well as using Foucault and psychoanalysis as usual she also,clearly, take Althusser on board and in particular the thought of interpellation This is the thought that the subject comes in to being after having been called by the law, or a representative of the law When someone is being called for, the subject is created in the responding to that call One recognise oneself by having someone call for you, it could be said This then, for Butler, opens up the site of the subject or subjectivity in which an identity can be formed.The sum of things is that identity becomes evena relational concept in this book Not only is the subject constructed in a relation or call but there is also a need for the subject to be recognised as that subject by an other This is a very welcomed development, and probably necessary for the coherence of Butler s thought, to my mind However, I also think that there are some points of critique here I am, for example, not sure that Butler manages to really escape the primacy of the subject over discourse, or the law, here If the subject needs to be recognised by someone something in order to become a subject, or become someone, then who is doing that recognition Is it really possible, or is it enough, to be recognised by something impersonal As such, although the relational aspect that is establishedclearly with the theory of interpellation clarifies things in Butler s theory of performativity it seems like a new can of worms opens up in the area of recognition It might simply be my own difficulties in thinking away a strong subject but I don t think so , but the sense is that a willing agent of some sort does not quite want to go away Or, to put it slightly differently, even if Butler manages to kill the subject, it seems like the primacy of some sort of concept of personhood does not quite want to go away.I am not completely sure exactly what I mean with some sort of concept of personhood as of yet, but I hope that will clarify in the process of my PhD on Butler and theology, but I think it will have something to do with a stronger relational ontology where the person is what is established in interpersonal relations But, that cannot mean that the personal is already there in the relations, but they have to be established in that relation and hence Butler s theory of performativity will be useful The real problem then is how not to make a concept of the human as primary which Butler has a valid critique against The problem of an origin is a real conundrum, but that is also the case for Butler though A further problem would be how not to end up in the same difficulty as I find Butler being in, in that the subject need to be assumed before the subject can be constructed My thought is that there might be some help to be found in the doctrine of the Trinity, but we ll see


  6. Dennis Dennis says:

    Ah, Judy I like this book I ve been reading Gender Trouble for, like, a year and a half now I m still working on it This one s going a little faster, but only because I maybe will use it in a paper She s trying, in this one, to use Foucault, Lacan, and Althusser to explore subjectivity Each of those three theorists has a slightly different emphasis and she does a good job of making them harmonize.


  7. Rui Coelho Rui Coelho says:

    Accepting Foucault s thesis that power constitutes subjects, Butler attempts to explain how that happens After some intrresting summaries on Nietzasche, Foucault and Althusser, the athor presents her freudian explanaition the subjectivation is due to the unresolve grief that domination causes in us The same question is explored and better answered in Butler s Undoing Gender.


  8. Karen Lynn Karen Lynn says:

    Subjection The act or fact of being subjected, as under a monarch or other sovereign or superior power the state of being subject to, or under the dominion of another hence gen subordination .The condition of being subject, exposed, or liable to liability Logic The act of supplying a subject to a predicate Oxford English Dictionary 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 ve Subjection The act or fact of being subjected, as under a monarch or other sovereign or superior power the state of being subject to, or under the dominion of another hence gen subordination .The condition of being subject, exposed, or liable to liability Logic The act of supplying a subject to a predicate Oxford English Dictionary 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 in some sense dependent upon that very power is quite another We are used to thinking of power as what presses on the subject from the outside, as what subordinates, sets underneath, and relegates to a lower order This is surely a fair description of part of what power does Foucault understands power as forming the subject as well, as providing the very condition of its existence and the trajectory of its desire, then power is not simply what we oppose but also, in a strong sense, what we depend on for our existence and what we harbor and preserve in the beings that we are The customary model for understanding this process goes as follows power imposes itself on us, and, weakened by its force, we come to internalize or accept its terms What such an account fails to note, however, is that the we who accept such terms are fundamentally dependent on those terms for our existence Subjection consists precisely in this fundamental dependency on a discourse we never chose but that, paradoxically, initiates and sustains our agency Although Foucault identifies the ambivalence in this formulation, he does not elaborate on the specific mechanisms of how the subject is formed in submission Not only does the entire domain of the psyche remain largely un remarked in his theory, but power in this double valence of subordinating and producing remains unexplored Thus, if submission is a condition of subjection, it makes sense to ask What is the psychic form that power takes Such a project requires thinking the theory of power together with a theory of the psyche, a task that has been eschewed by writers in both Foucauldian and psychoanalytic orthodoxies The question of subjection, of how the subject is formed in subordination, preoccupies the section of Hegel s Phenomenology of Spirit that traces the slave s approach to freedom and his disappointing fall into the unhappy consciousnes The master, who at first appears to be external to the slave, reemerges as the slave s own conscience The unhappiness of the consciousness that emerges is its own self beratement, the effect of the transmutation of the master into a psychic reality The self mortifications that seek to redress the insistent corporeality of self consciousness institute bad conscience This figure of consciousness turned back upon itself prefigures Nietzsche s account, in On the Genealogy of Morals, not only of how repression and regulation form the overlapping phenomena of conscience and bad conscience, but also of how the later become essential to the formation, persistence, and continuity of the subject In each case, power that at first appears as external, pressed upon the subject, pressing the subject into subordination, assumes a psychic form that constitutes the subject s self identity Judith Butler


  9. Bastián Olea Herrera Bastián Olea Herrera says:

    Butler es una autora complicada, pero en general en sus otros textos se obtiene una visi n completa y detallad del proceso que analiza o describe Este libro es lejos el m s complejo de ella que he le do, en particular porque se basa mucho en teor a psicoanal tica avanzada Pero siento que eso le juega en contra No me gust eso de ce irse tanto a especificidades de Freud, llegando a traducirlo palabra por palabra en varios momentos, y tratando sus dichos como leyes Honestamente es irrelevante Butler es una autora complicada, pero en general en sus otros textos se obtiene una visi n completa y detallad del proceso que analiza o describe Este libro es lejos el m s complejo de ella que he le do, en particular porque se basa mucho en teor a psicoanal tica avanzada Pero siento que eso le juega en contra No me gust eso de ce irse tanto a especificidades de Freud, llegando a traducirlo palabra por palabra en varios momentos, y tratando sus dichos como leyes Honestamente es irrelevante para cualquier persona que no est buscando un desglose repetitivo de minucias psicoanal ticas tratadas completamente en abstracto Al final del libro sientes que la autora estuvo dando vueltas durante 200 p ginas sobre el concepto de melancol a , incluso tomando perspectivas de Nietzsche y Althusser sin embargo el libro no concluye nada til al respecto ninguna conclusi n socialmente relevante, no se aplican los conceptos nada, ni se entrega un modelo para analizar ninguna cosa Simplemente es psicoanalizar por psicoanalizar Pierde completamente el hilo del an lisis del poder que trata en la primera mitad


  10. 우 자유 우 자유 says:

    Gostei muito E me deu uma dire o para algumas leituras que preciso fazer lembrar de ler Freud, Luto e melancolia e O Eu e o Isso.


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The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection ➠ [Epub] ➚ The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection By Judith Butler ➪ – Thomashillier.co.uk 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 As a form Life of eBook ´ 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 The Psychic PDF/EPUB ² 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 powerIf we take Hegel and Nietzsche seriously, then the inner life of consciousness and, indeed, of conscience, not only is fabricated by power, but becomes one of the ways in which power is anchored in Psychic Life of PDF/EPUB Ä subjectivity The author considers the way in which psychic life is generated by the social operation of power, and how that social operation of power is concealed and fortified by the psyche that it produces Power is no longer understood to be internalized by an existing subject, but the subject is spawned as an ambivalent effect of power, one that is staged through the operation of conscienceTo claim that power fabricates the psyche is also to claim that there is a fictional and fabricated quality to the psyche The figure of a psyche that turns against itself is crucial to this study, and offers an alternative to describing power as internalized Although most readers of Foucault eschew psychoanalytic theory, and most thinkers of the psyche eschew Foucault, the author seeks to theorize this ambivalent relation between the social and the psychic as one of the most dynamic and difficult effects of powerThis work combines social theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis in novel ways, offering a sustained analysis of the theory of subject formation implicit in such other works of the author as Bodies That Matter On the Discursive Limits of Sexand Gender Trouble Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.