The Normal Body: Female Bodies in Changing Contexts of Normalization and Optimization

  • Julia Jansen
  • Maren Wehrle
Part of the Breaking Feminist Waves book series (BFW)


The human body can be regarded in at least two ways: objectively, as a physical and organic body; and subjectively, as the center of orientation and lived affective unity. However, this distinction can lose sight of the fact that the ‘lived body’ is not reducible to subjective idiosyncrasies. Trans-individual norms are embodied too, as Michel Foucault and Judith Butler have shown. Phenomenological investigations of normalization and habitualization help bring these two important dimensions of embodiment together and overcome simplistic oppositions between phenomenological and poststructuralist approaches. These investigations lead into issues of female body optimization and control that we take to be characteristic of contemporary neoliberalist embodiment.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Jansen
    • 1
  • Maren Wehrle
    • 2
  1. 1.Husserl ArchivesInstitute of Philosophy, KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of PhilosophyErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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