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Definition of Repressive hypothesis

Repressive hypothesis Definition from Arts & Humanities Dictionaries & Glossaries
A Dictionary of Postmodern Terms - Foucault Work
A term that Focault introduces in the History of Sexuality.  It is the view that truth is is repressed by a powerful force and that we can liberate ourselves by getting down to the truth.  Foucault opposes the "repressive hypothesis"
  to "bio-technico-power (or bio-power). (Dreyfus and Rabinow, p. 127).  The repressive hypothesis about sexuality is that western civilization has moved from a time of shameless sexuality to an era of repressed sexuality, restricted to the parents' bedroom. (Part 2 of the five part The History Sexuality is called The Repressive Hypothesis).  The repressive hypothesis holds that sex is repressed because it is incompatible with the work ethic in the rise of capitlism during the last two centuries.

In the repressive view of power "[All power] can do is forbid, and all it can command is obedience. Power, ultimately, is repression; repression, ultimately, is the imposition of the law; the law, ultimately, demands submission." (Dreyfus & Rabinow, p. 130)

Repressive hypothesis Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
English Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia
The History of Sexuality is a three-volume study of sexuality in the western world by French historian and philosopher Michel Foucault. The first volume, The Will to Knowledge (La volonté de savoir), was first published in 1976 by Éditions Gallimard; an English translation by Robert Hurley was published by Allen Lane in 1978. It was followed by The Use of Pleasure (l'usage des plaisirs), and The Care of the Self (le souci de soi), both published in 1984.

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