As is obvious from even a glance at the catalogue of any academic publisher, much recent research has been conducted in the shadow of Foucault. While researchers in this emerging tradition make use of some standard qualitative methods in the social sciences – including textual analysis, observation and historical inquiry – they also introduce into social interpretation an ‘extra dimension’: a new way of understanding the intersection of power and knowledge.
In this book we set out the various ways in which Foucault’s work has been taken up by social analysts to exploit this ‘ extra dimension’ in such a way that postgraduate and undergraduate students can adapt it to their needs. This book provides a clear, straightforward guide to those who want to apply the work of Foucault to their own field of interest. The authors employ an accessible style to encourage readers to engage with Foucault’s work by tackling the issues that students most often raise. The book is organized around the following themes: history, archaeology, genealogy and discourse as the cornerstones of Foucault’s methods; and science and culture as important objects of analysis for those using Foucault’s methods. The book enables the reader to understand how Foucault’s contribution to social thought can be applied and opens up possibilities for researchers to use Foucault rather than merely discuss him.