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SEX, POWER, AND MODALITIES OF CARE: THE GENESIS OF BDSM ETHICS

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Material Information

Title:
SEX, POWER, AND MODALITIES OF CARE: THE GENESIS OF BDSM ETHICS
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Thornton, Samuel
Publisher:
New College of Florida
Place of Publication:
Sarasota, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Bachelor's ( B.A.)
Degree Grantor:
New College of Florida
Degree Divisions:
Humanities
Area of Concentration:
Philosophy
Faculty Sponsor:
Flakne, April

Subjects

Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, territorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract:
This thesis draws on a rich tradition of philosophical debate about “sadomasochism” to critically explore how subcultures identifying variously with labels such as “S&M,” “SM,” and “BDSM” understand themselves and form “ethoi” around their practices. Approaching sexuality with an analysis inspired by Foucault, I look at the institutional genesis of the theory of sadomasochism and historical transformations of that theory. My goal is to develop a picture of BDSM that charts its development through shifts in discourse from highly medicalized, pathologizing understandings to ones that discriminate between sexualities on the basis of their ethical structures. I begin by sketching the understanding of “sadomasochism” as indicating sexualities that explicitly involve power exchange, and proceed to Deleuze’s deconstruction of the psychoanalytic term -- and its philosophical ratification by Sartre -- into its constitutional literary moments (Sade and Masoch). This shift catalyzes a move from pathology to ethics and even, I claim, gestures towards a BDSM inspired ethics of care. In the next chapter, I discuss feminist approaches to psychoanalysis that help develop a sexual ethics involving intersubjectivity and providing insights into the requirements of caretaking. Finally, I review some relevant sociological research, ethnographic literature, and texts published by self-identified members of BDSM subcultures. I argue that the attitudes found in those works support the idea that BDSM has become increasingly socially acceptable as institutional discourses about this sexuality have shifted from psychiatric pathologization to a self-aware ethics focusing on questions of consent and the line that distinguishes BDSM from abuse. However, I conclude that further work could be done in this evolution as BDSM comes to understand itself as exposing intense sites of subjectivization that can draw attention to the practices of care of self and other involved in its exercise.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Samuel Thornton
Thesis:
Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2014
General Note:
RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
General Note:
Faculty Sponsor: Flakne, April

Record Information

Source Institution:
New College of Florida
Holding Location:
New College of Florida
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
S.T. 2014 T5
System ID:
AA00024820:00001

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