censorship

 

Try replacing the word 'sex' with 'spirit' in the following passage by Foucault (1976/1988):

 

The seventeenth century, then, was the beginning of an age of repression emblematic of what we call the bourgeois societies, an age which perhaps we still have not completely left behind. Calling sex by its name thereafter became more difficult and more costly. As if in order to gain mastery over it in reality, it had first been necessary to subjugate it at the level of language,control its free circulation in speech, expunge it from the things that were said, and extinguish the words that rendered it too visibly present. And even these prohibitions, it seems, were afraid to name it.... (p. 17)

 

Foucault (1976/1998) then goes on to claim that "areas were thus established, if not of utter silence, at least of tact and discretion: between parents and children, for instance, or teachers and pupils, or masters and domestic servants" (pp. 17-18).

 

If you have ever tried to speak about spirit in a school classroom in Saskatchewan (outside of the area of religion and religious studies), some of the above may feel familiar. This, however, is beginning to change as of 2008, however, at least in part due to the influence of the First Nations and Métis population in the province, and resulting revisions to new provincial curriculum documents.