Genealogy, critique and the analysis of power
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Genealogy, critique and the analysis of power book
In order to examine the possible implications of Foucault's work for Marxist theory and politics it is necessary to provide an appropriate basis, or context, from which to proceed to consider points of contact, of similarity and of difference, between Foucault's work and Marxist analysis. I do not propose to construct a general summary of Foucault's work, a daunting task which has already been attempted by Sheridan (1980), and in a more modest, critical, and concise fashion by Patton (1979) and Gordon (1979). My reading of Foucault's work, as I hope will become clear, has been structured to a great extent by an interest in the possible implications of his analyses for the key theoretical and political problems at the heart of Marxism. However, the pursuit of this objective requires more than a confinement or subordination of Foucault's work to the unquestioned parameters of historical materialism -a response exemplified by Lecourt (1975) and to a lesser extent by Poulantzas (1978) - but a less than uncritical celebration of that work as somehow constituting a clearly defined and systematic alternative to Marxist theory and politics.