The Ploy of Instinct: Victorian Sciences of Nature and Sexuality in Liberal Governance (Forms of Living (FUP))

Frederickson, Kathleen

Published by Fordham University Press
ISBN 10: 0823262529 / ISBN 13: 9780823262526
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2014. 1st Edition. Paperback. Fine. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: It is paradoxical that instinct became a central term for late Victorian sexual sciences as they were elaborated in the medicalized spaces of confession and introspection, given that instinct had long been defined in its opposition to self-conscious thought. The Ploy of Instinct ties this paradox to instinct’s deployment in conceptualizing governmentality.

Instinct’s domain, Frederickson argues, extended well beyond the women, workers, and “savages” to whom it was so often ascribed. The concept of instinct helped to gloss over contradictions in British liberal ideology made palpable as turn-of-the-century writers grappled with the legacy of Enlightenment humanism. For elite European men, instinct became both an agent of “progress” and a force that, in contrast to desire, offered a plenitude in answer to the alienation of self-consciousness.

This shift in instinct’s appeal to privileged European men modified the governmentality of empire, labor, and gender. The book traces these changes through parliamentary papers, pornographic fiction, accounts of Aboriginal Australians, suffragette memoirs, and scientific texts in evolutionary theory, sexology, and early psychoanalysis.

About the Author: Kathleen Frederickson is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Davis.

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Title: The Ploy of Instinct: Victorian Sciences of ...
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Book Condition: Used - Like New

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It is paradoxical that instinct became a central term for late Victorian sexual sciences as they were elaborated in the medicalized spaces of confession and introspection, given that instinct had long been defined in its opposition to self-conscious thought. The Ploy of Instinct ties this paradox to instinct s deployment in conceptualizing governmentality. Instinct s domain, Frederickson argues, extended well beyond the women, workers, and savages to whom it was so often ascribed. The concept of instinct helped to gloss over contradictions in British liberal ideology made palpable as turn-of-the-century writers grappled with the legacy of Enlightenment humanism. For elite European men, instinct became both an agent of progress and a force that, in contrast to desire, offered a plenitude in answer to the alienation of self-consciousness. This shift in instinct s appeal to privileged European men modified the governmentality of empire, labor, and gender. The book traces these changes through parliamentary papers, pornographic fiction, accounts of Aboriginal Australians, suffragette memoirs, and scientific texts in evolutionary theory, sexology, and early psychoanalysis. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780823262526

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It is paradoxical that instinct became a central term for late Victorian sexual sciences as they were elaborated in the medicalized spaces of confession and introspection, given that instinct had long been defined in its opposition to self-conscious thought. The Ploy of Instinct ties this paradox to instinct s deployment in conceptualizing governmentality. Instinct s domain, Frederickson argues, extended well beyond the women, workers, and savages to whom it was so often ascribed. The concept of instinct helped to gloss over contradictions in British liberal ideology made palpable as turn-of-the-century writers grappled with the legacy of Enlightenment humanism. For elite European men, instinct became both an agent of progress and a force that, in contrast to desire, offered a plenitude in answer to the alienation of self-consciousness. This shift in instinct s appeal to privileged European men modified the governmentality of empire, labor, and gender. The book traces these changes through parliamentary papers, pornographic fiction, accounts of Aboriginal Australians, suffragette memoirs, and scientific texts in evolutionary theory, sexology, and early psychoanalysis. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780823262526

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