Master of Arts (MA)
Philosophy and Religious Studies
Michel Foucault uses the term biopolitics to highlight the focus on life that is at the center of contemporary politics. Biopower or biopolitics is the maximization of life through various regulatory apparatuses that monitor, modify, and control life processes. I elucidate and exemplify Foucault's framework in order to show how the medical discourse exercises a certain kind of power over bodies in the name of health. My argument is that through the mechanisms of biopower, the juridico-medical discourse simultaneously makes pregnancy into an object of study and the pregnant woman into a subject of power. With the help of a Foucauldian interpretation, I attempt to unmask the not-so-visible techniques of biopolitics that surround the pregnant woman. The unmasking makes it possible to think differently which is the primary task of philosophy. Specifically, such a critique helps in reformulating the problem as one of subjectivation.
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Basu, Marina, "Biopolitics or the legislation of life: a Foucauldian analysis" (2006). LSU Master's Theses. 2191.