Whoa, wait. Back to Basics.


Michel Foucault – Historian of Systems of Thought (self proclaimed title)

Born: 15 October 1926 in Poitiers, France

Died: 25 June 1984 in Paris, France (age 57)

  • Died from a septicemia type of HIV/AIDS
  • First large public figure to die from AIDS at that time

Partner: Daniel Defert

Member of the French Communist Party for three years until he broke off because of their extreme views against homosexuals.

Foucault believed in Marxism, which by definition of Merriam-Webster means: the political, economic, and social theories of Karl Marx including the belief that the struggle between social classes is a major force in history and that there should eventually be a society in which there are no classes.


  • The History of Madness
  • Discipline and Punish
  • The History of Sexuality Volume I
  • The History of Sexuality Volume II (not published)
  • Death and the Labyrinth: The World of Raymond Roussel *literature

Brief Summary:

Foucault was interested in the idea of power and knowledge, but also power and resistance. Hence, “Where there is power, there is resistance.” He believed that knowledge is created through language, and the discourse of such. His primary goal was to unmask power structures such as social institutions ie. prisons. Language could sustain said institutions but could also expose them and lead to resistance of them.


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