Foucault And Normalized Identity

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II. Lacan On the individual level, the obsession for an identity, for cohesion, is a result of the subject’s development through the mirror stage of life. This stage begins in the early years of one’s life when the child encounters their reflection in the mirror. Upon this first glimpse of oneself from the outside, the child is given an image of her existence which is far more unified and cohesive than their own subjective experience. Instead of the confusing collection of limbs and body parts which she cannot even completely see, the reflected image seems to be a continuous whole. As the child comes to understand that this image which she sees reflected in the mirror is the way that she appears to her parents as well. She understands that …show more content…
Foucault As this purging aggression runs its course, the identity becomes increasingly closed off from any adaptation. As it calcifies, the identity becomes increasingly specific. Foucault’s work on the process of normalization illustrates the effects of this reinforcement of a socially normalized identity. In a situation where this normalized identity is not accepted as a shifting category, the norm begins to close in on itself, its borders retracting further and further, creating a larger and larger category of the abnormal. The process of normalization measures the individuals of a society against the norm, identifying within the individual the areas where it does not quite fit. “Normalizing power produces individuals as epistemic objects, as ‘case histories’, as collections of measured deviations from given norms. It individuates its subjects by comparing them to one another and ranking them. It thus produces more or less normal subjects.” This ranking of individuals as more or less normal produces disciplinary systems within the society by which individuals are normalized and become increasingly normal. However, this brings about the creation of the …show more content…
The desire which she is positing as a right here is “not freedom to change or to succeed, but freedom to revolt, to call things into question.” This right to question, to revolt against what has been established can be seen as a fundamental confrontation and surmounting of the trap of human rights, and of the postmodern existence. The trap of human rights seems inescapable because of the self-annihilation inherent in its embrace. However, the root of the trap is the failure to confront the impossibility of an absolute foundation, the failure to recognize the split

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