The Autonomous Animal: Self-Governance and the Modern Subject

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9780816669578: The Autonomous Animal: Self-Governance and the Modern Subject
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Autonomy is a vital concept in much of modern theory, defining the Subject as capable of self-governance. Democratic theory relies on the concept of autonomy to provide justification for participatory government and the normative goal of democratic governance, which is to protect the ability of the individual to self-govern.
Offering the first examination of the concept of autonomy from a postfoundationalist perspective, The Autonomous Animal analyzes how the ideal of self-governance has shaped everyday life. Claire E. Rasmussen begins by considering the academic terrain of autonomy, then focusing on specific examples of political behavior that allow her to interrogate these theories. She demonstrates how the adolescent—a not-yet-autonomous subject—highlights how the ideal of self-governance generates practices intended to cultivate autonomy by forming the individual’s relationship to his or her body. She points up how the war on drugs rests on the perception that drug addicts are the antithesis of autonomy and thus must be regulated for their own good. Showing that the animal rights movement may challenge the distinction between human and animal, Rasmussen also examines the place of the endurance athlete in fitness culture, where self-management of the body is the exemplar of autonomous subjectivity.

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About the Author:

Claire E. Rasmussen is associate professor of political science and international relations at the University of Delaware.

Review:

"This captivating book is about the paradox of freedom that we moderns experience as the compulsion to autonomy. Whether we are becoming adolescents, addicts, vegans, or athletes we subject ourselves to become independent so that we can experience freedom. This drive to experience freedom divides those who become autonomous (mature and respectable) and those who must be governed. The book is an impressive intervention on the paradox of freedom that is at once a space of possibility and oppression. Claire E. Rasmussen shows a behind-the-scenes glimpse of intriguing and inspiring subjectivities through that space." —Engin Isin, The Open University



"This book is a provocative, compelling, and wide-ranging analysis of the self-contained subject. Rasmussen both historicizes and critiques the concept of the sovereign self." —Kennan Ferguson, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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Book Description University of Minnesota Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Autonomous Animal analyzes how the ideal of self-governance has shaped everyday life. Claire E. Rasmussen points up how the war on drugs rests on the perception that drug addicts are the antithesis of autonomy and thus must be regulated for their own good. Showing that the animal rights movement may challenge the distinction between human and animal, Rasmussen also examines the place of the endurance athlete in fitness culture, where self-management of the body is the exemplar of autonomous subjectivity. Seller Inventory # AAR9780816669578

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