Postmodernism and Foucault

  • Sam Porter
Part of the Sociology and Nursing Practice Series book series (SNP)


Once again, this chapter is funnelled. It starts with a general discussion of some aspects of postmodernist theory and how it distinguishes itself from modernism. This is largely done through an examination of the ideas of Jean-François Lyotard. The chapter then moves on to the work of Michel Foucault, his theories concerning the relationship between knowledge and power, and how those theories might be used to illuminate health care relations. To show how Foucault’s theory of knowledge can be applied to nursing issues, I review Julianne Cheek and Trudy Rudge’s (1994) examination of nursing discourse as found in case notes. In relation to his notions of power and surveillance, I turn to Michael Bloor and James Mcintosh’s (1990) study of the surveillance activities of health visitors.


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© Sam Porter 1998

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  • Sam Porter

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