UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Conceptualizing the contemporary monster Dilley, Sherrie


Through the challenges of Donna Haraway and Giorgio Agamben to Michel Foucault's theory of biopolitics I develop a conceptual frame for thinking about the sociological role of monsters in modern society. I argue that Foucault's position on the concept of monsters submerges expressions of liminality and exclusion from western society which are based on the mistaken narrative of how static natural laws and dynamic socio-political laws define the individual. Underneath the contemporary iterations of inclusive abnormality and expressions of repressed human desires, monsters illuminate the contradictory "nature" of such laws, and provide the form in which to debate who – or what – is allowed within the definition of a human individual and, therefore, within the human population.

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