Foucault and Familial Power




This paper provides an overview of Michel Foucault's continually changing observations on familial power, as well as the feminist-Foucauldian literature on the family. It suggests that these accounts offer fragments of a genealogy of the family that undermine any all-encompassing or transhistorical account of the institution. Approaching the family genealogically, rather than seeking a single model of power that can explain it, shows that far from this institution being a quasi-natural formation or a bedrock of unassailable values, it is in fact a continually contested fiction that masks its own histories of becoming.