Foucault on policing language


Foucault (1976/1988) argues that a process of codification of language created "new rules of propriety [which] screened out some words" and had significant material effects in framing understandings and possible experiences of sexuality. Thus, "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).


These disciplining processes have constrained use of words such as spirit, love (see Barrett, 2006), and particular expressions of ecological identity/subjectivity, as illustrated through this research, and summarized here.