The “soul of the citizen,” the invention of the social

Governing mentalities

Authored by: Jackie Orr

Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415474450
eBook ISBN: 9780203891377
Adobe ISBN: 9781134026159


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Michel Foucault’s notion of governmentality has a significance for us today because it suggests alternative ways of thinking the activity of politics. The forces of power that subject us, the systems of rule that administer us, the types of authority that master us—do not find their principle of coherence in a State nor do they answer to a logic of oppression or domination.

(Rose 1993: 286)

My last point will be this: The emergence of social science cannot … be isolated from the rise of this new political rationality and from this new political technology.

(Foucault 1988b: 162)

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