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Foucault For Beginners (For Beginners) [Paperback]

By Lydia Alix Fillingham & Moshe Susser (Illustrator)
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Item description for Foucault For Beginners (For Beginners) by Lydia Alix Fillingham & Moshe Susser...

Michel Foucault's work has profoundly affected the teaching of such diverse disciplines as literary criticism, criminology, and gender studies. Arguing that definitions of abnormal behavior are culturally constructed, Foucault explored the unfair divisions between those who meet and those who deviate from social norms. In Foucault For Beginners, the reader will discover Foucault's deeply visual sense of scenes such as ritual public executions.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   156
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 21, 2007
Publisher   For Beginners
ISBN  1934389129  
ISBN13  9781934389126  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Philosophy > History & Surveys
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Epistemology
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History & Surveys
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern

Reviews - What do customers think about Foucault For Beginners (For Beginners)?

An invitation to explore further...  Mar 16, 2008
A good introduction to beginning an understanding of a philosopher that has a complex and insightful approach to power relations, and ways of viewing human history. However, this is a basic introduction - and one shouldn't hope for a thorough review of the works of Foucault. I think this is a book that invites anyone interested to pick up a further book on Foucault to follow on and learn more.
Interesting Simple Intro  Jan 12, 2008
As a beginner, the book presents Foucault as a documenter - discussing and disecting the history of power and professional relations. He covers knowledge and power, sexuality, prisons, mental health.... The span is enormous, highlighting Foucault's multidisciplinary reputation.

The downside of the book (indeed a limit of the Manga-like series) is it spends too much time on Foucault's role as as a chronicler of data, and leaves the reader on their own for much of his conclusions. An example: the book talks of Foucault's description of the medical clinic and doctor's "Gaze" but the book doesn't share if Foucault thought this was good or bad. Given Foucault's well deserved reputation as a complicated writer, this beginner could use the help.
Yes, It Really Is For Beginners  Nov 17, 2007
This is by far the best intro to Foucault I've read. Thinking like Foucault use lots of complex language and have really complex ideas, but this book explains those ideas in a very easy-to-understand way. It's short, so you'll be finished quickly, but you will get a really good (introductory) sense of Foucault's entire project. That sense will stick with you pretty well, too, because every page is illustrated. This is an important thinker, and I can't imagine a better introduction. Read it.
The portal into a maze - but a good one  Apr 6, 2001

Foucault's range is amazing. Very few disciplines escaped his epistemological examination. His examination includes literary criticism, criminology, and gender studies. Arguing that definitions of abnormal behaviour are socially constructed, Foucault explored the power relations between those who meet and those who deviate from social norms. Foucault's examination of the birth the prisons includes a very graphic description of early punishment and the orgy of suffering does not escape Moshe Süsser's and is cleverly written by Lydia Alix Fillingham. This book gives a very brief introduction to Foucault's work (or the part of it that interests us), plus a very good bibliography.

According to Foucault, people do not have a 'true' identity. In essence, the self is a product of discourse. Identity, is performative our interaction with others, but this is not static. It is a dynamic, temporary and shifting. Foucualt centers his epistemology around power, knowledge and language. People do not really have power per se. Power is a force which people engage in - as in power knowledge and language. Power is not owned; it is used. Where power is, there is also an equal and opposite reaction.

I was particularly impressed by the treatment of "The Birth of the Clinic" since this is one of the few of his works that I missed and hope to read soon, it placed for me the significance of his play on power and the gaze. I get the sense that "The Birth of the Clinic" is a spin-off from "Madness and Civilization" based on his take of the dis-empowerment of the sick (not well, not normal) as well as the mad. I understand when this comic book mentions that reading "The Order of Things" is not the best starting point to understanding Foucault and I will venture to "The Archeology of Knowledge" aremd with this introduction and the other readings I have done on Foucault. A primer, I think it is a really good start. However, in reality, Foucault and French deconstruction is NOT infinitely incomprehensible. Conversely, be warned, if you think you can read this as a substitute and come to class to discuss Foucault, you might be disappointed.I highly recommend this to start and hopefully it leads you to the fascinating maze that is Foucault.

Miguel Llora

Speedy introduction to Foucault's work  Feb 19, 2001
I picked up this book to help me prepare for a short presentation I had to give on Foucault. Since I had very little time to do reasearch (only 2 weeks), reading through a book such as Discipline and Punish or even the Foucault Reader was out of the question. This was a great introduction to Foucault's general theories, and it included brief synopses of specific works. The writing style is quick-to-the-point and full of light humor, and the comic book style added to this feeling. I especially enjoyed the way this book used certain stories and situations to put some of Foucault's points into "lamens terms". It also tells you which of Foucault's books make the best starting points, for anyone who wants to read "the real thing".

I will agree with some of the other reviewers that some of the explanations were a little TOO brief, but that's to be expected with such a short book. Despite this minor imperfection, I was able to walk away completely understanding the major points of Foucault's study. Not to be counted on as a single source, this book is best used as an introduction, or a companion, to the works of Foucault.


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