Towards a critical ontology of ourselves? Foucault, subjectivity and discourse analysis,
Applications of Foucault’s work in psychology have been criticised for using an under-theorised notion of discourse. This has recently been addressed by Hook, who provides a timely and detailed consideration of the implications of Foucault’s theoretical and methodological writings on genealogy. Hook’s work also hints at but leaves unaddressed the challenge for critical psychology of accounting for Foucault’s concerns with the constitution and experience of forms of subjectivity. In relation to this challenge, we contend that Foucault’s work can productively be understood as a series of analyses comprising a tripartite critical ontology with significant concerns for subjectivity and individual conduct. We set out this reading and briefly explore Foucault’s intellectual debt to Heidegger. We argue that this suggests the possibility of a form of discourse analysis conceptualised along similar lines to Foucault’s “critical ontology of ourselves.” This is illustrated with some examples from recent research.
Citation : Yates, S. and Hiles, D. (2010) Towards a critical ontology of ourselves? Foucault, subjectivity and discourse analysis. Theory & Psychology, 20 (1), pp. 52-75
ISSN : 1461-7447
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes