Foucault News

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

Vaahtera, E.
Biopolitics and the repressive hypothesis of the body: the case of swimming training in Finland
(2016) Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 18 (2), pp. 142-153.

DOI: 10.1080/15017419.2015.1063538

Iris Marion Young, a feminist theoretician, argued that patriarchal society inhibits women to cultivate capable bodies. In contrast, Foucauldian arguments have stressed that to view a certain historical situation as a consequence of repression, overlooks how the idea of repression is already a product of power. This article explores this nexus between Foucault and Young, and investigates how bio/thanatopolitical projects saturate the notion of the repressed body. The article investigates how the inability to swim has been connected with inhibition in Finland in the twentieth and early twenty-first century. It argues that the repressive hypothesis of the body generates the identification with able-bodiedness in the ways in which eventually favour athletic or otherwise capable bodies. Moreover, the assumption that incapability is an inhibited way of being makes able-bodiedness appear to be primary and original. Thus, the exploration of the repressive hypothesis helps us to understand the intricate mechanisms of ableism. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Author Keywords
ableism; biopolitics; Iris Marion Young; thanatopolitics; The repressive hypothesis

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