This series of essays presents a variety of responses to the question of what the genealogical works of Michel Foucault may mean to the domain of critical psychology. This, I think, is an important task given that 20 years after Foucault’s death, the discipline of psychology has yet to absorb the full impact of his work. Two particular problems arise here, both of which became apparent to me in relation to teaching. First, although there are several reasonable introductory texts on Foucault (McHoul and Grace, 1997; McNay, 1994; Mills, 2003; Smart, 1985) none focuses on those of Foucault’s ideas most important to students/practitioners of psychology and none introduces Foucault from the standpoint of psychology itself. Although certain critical psychology texts have made mention of Foucault (Gough and McFadden, 2001; Hepburn, 2003; Parker, 2003; Tuffin, 2005; Walkerdine, 2002) his work is generally drawn on in a ‘mix and match’ manner, along with other thinkers — usually under the general rubric of poststructuralism — without the benefit of sustained exposition and/or adequate theoretical and methodological contextualization. Second, despite the importance of Foucault’s methodological writings, and, indeed, the need for critical psychology to engage with these lines of critique and analysis, I have found it difficult to prescribe a text which presents a detailed set of Foucauldian methodological frameworks within the context of Foucault’s particular theoretical, political and historical objectives.


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© Derek Hook 2007

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  • Derek Hook

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