chapter  10
12 Pages

The Queer Ethic and the Spirit of Normativity

Somewhere along the 1960s or 1970s, Western Man had a great fall. While rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated, his decline was unmistakable. Brought low by the student movements around race and gender, in particular, his visage would never be the same. His tumble and their ascent for the first time in modern history signaled the possibility for revolutionary social ruptures and subjectivities. But that old trickster Power had other designs in mind. Power responded to these protests by attempting to manage those upheavals, attempting to prevent economic, epistemological, and political crises from achieving ruptures and instead working to ensure that those crises were recomposed back into state, capital, and academy. Whereas power would once discipline difference in the universalizing names of canonicity, nationality, or economy, another operation of power was emerging that would discipline through a seemingly alternative regard for difference and through a revision of the canon, national identity, and the market.