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Book cover of A Foucault Primer: Discourse, Power and the Subject

A Foucault Primer: Discourse, Power and the Subject

by Alec Mchoul, Wendy Grace

Publisher: New York University Press
Pages: 154
Paperback
ISBN: 9780814754801






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Overview of A Foucault Primer: Discourse, Power and the Subject

In such seminal works as Madness and Civilization, Discipline and Punish, and The History of Sexuality, the late philosopher Michel Foucault explored what our politics, our sexuality, our societal conventions, and our changing notions of truth told us about ourselves. In the process, Foucault garnered a reputation as one of the preeminent philosophers of the latter half of the twentieth century, and has served as a primary influence on successive generations of philosophers and cultural critics. With A Foucault Primer, Alec McHoul and Wendy Grace bring Foucaults work into focus for the uninitiated. Written in crisp and concise prose. A Foucault Primer explicates the three central concepts of Foucauldian theory - discourse, power, and the subject - and suggests that Foucault has much yet to contribute to contemporary debate.

Synopsis of A Foucault Primer: Discourse, Power and the Subject

Presents four readable essays on the history of punitive attacks on programs for poor single mothers and applies a gender lens to conventional theories of the welfare state. This revised edition contains a short history of low-income women's activism during the 20th century, paying special attention to welfare-rights activism spurred by recent reform. The author teaches at the Hunter College School of Social Work. The first edition was published in 1996. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Journal of Sociology Social Welfare

This lively and informative book deserves to be widely read. It provides an excellent history of AFDC and the activities of various women's groups who have campaigned hard over the years for improvements in services to the poor.

About the Author, Alec Mchoul

Alec McHoul is the author of Telling How Texts Talk and coauthor of Writing Pynchon: strategies on Fictional Analysis. He teaches at Murdoch University in Australia, where Wendy Grace is engaged in postgraduate work on Foucault.

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Editorials

In These Times

Extraordinarily lucid and useful . . .

Journal of Sociology Social Welfare

This lively and informative book deserves to be widely read. It provides an excellent history of AFDC and the activities of various women's groups who have campaigned hard over the years for improvements in services to the poor.

From The Critics

Now in a newly updated edition, Mimi Abramovitz's Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women And Welfare In The United States continues to offer insight and information on recent developments in welfare "reform" and welfare rights activism. Abramovitz documents the impact of that recent historic changes in welfare policies have had on the lives of impoverish single mothers and their children. Contrary to popular wisdom, governmental hype, and media reports, poor women have always had the courage and ability to fight injustice in behalf of themselves and their children. That struggle continues today as political activists continue to strive to humanize and truly reform current welfare policies. Under Attack, Fighting Back is "must" reading for women's rights advocates, political activists, social reformers, welfare policy makers, and welfare program administrators.

Labor History

Abramovitz introduces the reader to cutting edge socioeconomic analysis. . . . It is not possible to come away from Under Attack, Fighting Back with a sense that welfare is a simplistic topic or that the human consequences of adjustments in the existing system are inconsequential.

From the Publisher

“A consistently clear, comprehensive and accessible introduction which carefully sifts Foucault’s work for both its strengths and weaknesses. McHoul and Grace show an intimate familiarity with Foucault's writings and a lively, but critical engagement with the relevance of his work. A model primer.”
-Tony Bennett,author of Outside Literature

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