Book: Derek Hook (2010) Foucault, psychology and the analytics of power (Palgrave Macmillan)
I’d hazard a guess that the work of Foucault tends to be included more on programmes in sociology and history than it does in psychology reading lists. If I’m right that’s a bit of a shame as his work has a great deal to say about the discipline and some of its less appealing applications. Derek Hook has done us a big favour here and delivered a text that explores the application of Foucault’s concepts to the field of psychology. Not always a happy read for psychologists, although it’s difficult to think of a discipline which has escaped unscathed from Foucault’s gaze.
Hook covers a fair bit of ground here – governmentality, power, space and race. I particularly like the chapters on power and methodology (which includes a series of ‘practical methodological guidelines for how we might suspend a variety of unhelpful stereotypes of power’), and the chapter exploring in some detail the contested meaning of discourse analysis (while also outlining some of its shortcomings). Well worth a read for those engaging in applying Foucault.