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p. 443. Politics and identitylocked

  • Christopher Butler


The most important postmodernist ethical argument concerns the relationship between discourse and power. ‘Politics and identity’ outlines Michel Foucault's influential analysis of this relationship in his studies of the history of practices in law, penology, and medicine. The concepts of self and identity are examined through the works of Cindy Sherman, Roland Barthes and postmodern literary texts. Postmodernists successfully adapt Foucauldian arguments to show the ways in which discourses of power are used in all societies to marginalize subordinate groups. Postmodernist thought, in attacking the idea of a notional centre or dominant ideology, facilitated the promotion of a politics of difference. The relationship between postmodernism and feminism is also considered.

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