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Foucault, Psychology and the Analytics of Power

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Derek Hook
Palgrave (24 August 2007)

Despite that many of the later writings of Michel Foucault speak directly to the subject of psychology, the discipline has yet to absorb the full impact of his critical analyses. Foucault's importance in this respect is at least twofold: he develops a powerful critique of the uses of psychological knowledge and practice in modern disciplinary society, and he offers a trenchant series of methodological injunctions, an 'analytics of power', that makes a reformulation of 'the psychological' possible. Aware of this double priority - of the critical and methodological import of these ideas - this book introduces and applies Foucault's most important concepts and procedures, and does so specifically for a psychology readership.

Drawing on the recently published Collège de France lectures Abnormal (2003) and Psychiatric Power (2006), Foucault, Psychology and the Analytics of Power is as useful to those concerned with Foucault's engagement with the 'psy-disciplines' as it is to those interested in the practical application of Foucault's critical research methods.


'This groundbreaking book provides an impassioned argument for Foucault that also locates the work in current debates in social and political theory. Hook's lucid writing has an urgency that draws the reader into a journey through theoretical debates that also makes them come alive as it addresses key political questions. This book combines elaboration and application in measures that will leave the reader with a thirst for more of the real critical-political Michel Foucault and admiration for an author who has at last shown us how to find him.'
Ian Parker, professor of psychology, Discourse Unit, Manchester

'This book is an exercise in theoretical excavation in which Hook develops a series of provocative arguments - developed between Foucault and psychoanalysis - about the operations of power in the production of political subjectivies and affects.'
Kevin Durrheim, professor of psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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