Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974–1975

Foucault, Michel. Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974–1975. Translated by Graham Burchell, edited by Valerio Marchetti and Antonella Salomoni. New York: Picador, 2003.

The lectures comprising Abnormal begin by examining the role of psychiatry in modern criminal justice, and its method of categorizing individuals who “resemble their crime before they commit it.” Building on the themes of societal self-defense in “Society Must Be Defended,” Foucault shows how and why defining “abnormality” and “normality” were preorogatives of power in the nineteenth century. The College de France lectures add immeasurably to our appreciation of Foucault’s work and offer a unique window into his thinking.


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