chapter  4
44 Pages

4The Face of An-Other as Oneself

During the course of this book I have argued that the face is perceived, thought about, interpreted, rationalised, judged, and acted upon according to individual and collective (never neutral) ways of ‘seeing’ and ‘knowing’ within and between different perspectives. These situated perspectives-with their accompanying values, meanings, interests, and motivations (sometimes shared, sometimes particular)—are constituted through an intertwining of ‘surface’ knowledge(s) (connaissance) and ‘depth’ knowledge(s) (savoir), which structure commonalities and particularities of ‘truth’ in line with a series of normative assumptions that operate through elements of the dispositif. An analysis of Foucault’s four listed ‘technologies’ in Chapter 3-in which systematised ‘technologies’ are made up of a variety of independent and non-systematic ‘techniques’—provides the basis for my contention that the body/the subject of these technologies, while being discursively fashioned, also actively fashions itself in accord with its sociocultural milieu. These (sôma)technologies are therefore ‘not purely and simply ways of producing discourse. They are embodied in technical processes, in institutions, in patterns for general behavior’ (Foucault 1977: 200, my emphasis). As such, every technique of the self-for clinicians and patients-has its own mixture of commonalities and particularities, its own conditions of possibility, its own specificity, and its own notion of uniqueness; all grounded in habituated and reflective self-forming practices which are both fashioned and fashioning.