SUBJECTIVITY, SUBJUGATED KNOWLEDGE AND. FOUCAULT
Foucault understands subjugated knowledges as holding the potential for resistance. Ransom (1993) argues that this point is crucial in understanding the relationship between feminism and Foucault. She maintains that it is this shared conception of oppression held by a subjugated group that creates friction in the relationship between Foucault and feminism. Ramazanoglu (1993) notes that, in moving beyond the liberal humanist assumptions of the Enlightenment, Foucault had no need to think in terms of the agency of the human subject, and consequently the nature of a shared conception of oppression remains unaddressed in his analysis of subjectivity and power. Foucault did not understand power as repressive, rather as productive, and people are both constituted as subjects in discourses and discursive practices but also act in the process of establishing themselves as particular kinds of subjects. It is clear there are ambiguities in the Foucauldian model of power and discourse, plus contradictions for the relationship between feminism and Foucault around the nature of subjectivity, power and discourse. However, the fact remains, as Soper (1993:35) notes, that Foucault has raised issues around both the nature and operation of discourses of resistance which are significant for any emancipatory politics.