William Butler And Foucault 's Reading Essay

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1. Consult your reading from last week from Foucault and this week’s reading from Judith Butler. Using direct quotes from both Butler and Foucault, explain how Butler comes from of a Foucauldian tradition. What do they have in common? (4 marks, maximum 300 words)

It is evident in Butler’s reading that she comes from a Foucauldian tradition. Foucault’s idea that discourse is “controlled, selected, organized” (Foucault, 1996) in the sense that what comes to be accepted as truth is based on a deliberate inclusion and exclusion of information, which in turn forms social norms. Butler applies this concept to gender. How we act in certain situations depends on the social constructs that surround us (discourse), and “our acting of our role playing is crucial to the gender that we are” (Butler, 1998) e.g. Men acting masculine, and women being feminine. We act this way because we feel based on social expectations that we are obliged to act a certain way that associates us with our gender, or in a discourse scenario, we act a certain way based on our environment. These concepts overlap with another similarity between the two. Foucault and Butler both acknowledge that stepping out of these boundaries set by society can lead to violence. Foucault believes we know our boundaries and are aware that “we know quite well that we do not have the right to say everything” (Foucault, 1996); this shows that based on those surrounding us and the ideologies they hold are critical to how we act,…

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