The body-power relationship and immanent philosophy: A question of life and death

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to Foucault, the human body is the targeted object of modern power systems. In his genealogical studies, Foucault describes the manner in which these power systems leave an imprint on the body and utilize knowledge of the body as an indirect means of exercising subtle forms of control. In recent years, several researchers have claimed that the status of the body, subsumed as it is by modern power networks, has become a means for conducting a unique political critique in which the human being is viewed as an agent of oppression and freedom. This article takes a fresh look at Foucaults notions of life and death that underpin the critical understanding the body-power relationship. While this approach recognizes the completeness of subjective structuring processes, it also enables the formulation of new insights regarding the status of the modern individual as the subject of separate and independent modes of speech and action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-470
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Legacy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 7 Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy


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