Though Foucault displayed a marked ambivalence toward Freud, in the final stages of his work, this ambivalence hardened into a resistance. Hence, in The History of Sexuality, Volume 1, Freud is situated squarely on the side of power. It is in fact in leaving Freud behind, Foucault suggests, that we might begin to imagine “a different economy of bodies and pleasures.” Against this notion, I argue that a return to Freud's most radical understanding of this enigmatic term pleasure provides the resources for thinking one of the central problems emerging out of Foucault's later work: how to understand pleasure as a possible site of resistance to the regime of normalizing power.

You do not currently have access to this content.