Problematization — A Critical Ontology of the Present

  • Claire Cohen
Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


Regimes of truth both prescribe and proscribe the conceptualization of a given ‘problem’ and the parameters for its solution; in advocating particular ways of seeing and doing, they necessarily abjure others. In this sense they are key to the formation of what Foucault (1997, p. 7) termed ‘subjugated knowledges’, which he explains means two things: ‘On the one hand I am referring to historical contents that have been buried or masked in functional coherences and systemizations … I am also referring to a whole series of knowledges that have been disqualified’ (ibid., p. 7). Not only are regimes of truth key to the creation of subjugated knowledges, but they are also key to the insurrection of subjugated knowledges — as when one destabilizes a regime of truth, one enables the emancipation of those knowledges disqualified by its internal conventions. This is problematization, and it underscores Foucault’s imperative for us to ‘think differently’.


Sexual Violence Feminist Theory Rape Myth Female Victim Rape Victim 
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Copyright information

© Claire Cohen 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of SociologyNottingham Trent UniversityUK

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