Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)



First Advisor

Dr. John Eby


This thesis argues for the utility of interpreting Michel Foucault as a social theorist. The first part of this thesis accomplishes an intellectual history of Foucault's thought in reference to structuralism and poststructuralism in 20th century France. In these sections, I discuss what critical and methodological tools Foucault uses in his research and their similarity to social analysis. I compare and contrast Michel Foucault with Jurgen Habermas to demonstrate the intertextuality of their work, specifically in their theories of social technologies and power interests. The second part of this thesis expands a viable poststructuralist social theory, based on two of Foucault's concepts: power-relations and subjectivities. In his conception of power, Foucault presents systems analysis as compatible with discursivities and resistances. Lastly, Foucault provides a new way to analyze the subject and ethics in the domain of social theory.