Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Matthew Bannister, ‘“I’m Set Free…”: The Velvet Underground, 1960s Counterculture, and Michel Foucault’, Popular Music and Society, Volume 33, Issue 2 May 2010 , pages 163 – 178

Abstract
This article explores concepts of freedom, repression, and sexuality in Western society and popular music, in relation to selected aspects of Michel Foucault’s writing and the work of the Velvet Underground. Both were critically responding to the “repressive hypothesis” implicit in 1960s countercultural discourses of liberation from oppression, by highlighting the role of the gaze in power relations, its role in both disciplining and constructing sexual and other identities, and how possibilities for action or resistance can be enacted only through material and pragmatic interventions within existing power relations, rather than by reference to an imagined Utopia “beyond power.”

One thought on “The Velvet Underground, 1960s Counterculture, and Michel Foucault (2010)

  1. I’m quite a fan of Foucault’s writing and never would have thought it could be linked to the Velvet Underground but there it is.

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