The History of Sexuality: An Introduction - Part 5, Right of Death and Power Over Life Summary & Analysis

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Part 5, Right of Death and Power Over Life Summary and Analysis

From Roman times, sovereigns have wielded the power of death. For example, they can cause one to expose his life in warfare and can even order execution within the law, however so defined. During the 18th century, this power of death gradually transformed into the power of life; that is, instead of a cautionary threat of death, the political power was seen as responsible to foster and improve living conditions. The power was simultaneously transferred from a sovereign to the state.

This power of life becoming transcendent over the power of death has its roots in 17th century, where two concepts informed social conceptions: body discipline was introduced via Christian morality; and social regulation arose as a complex component of the rising nation-state. As individual existence transformed...

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This section contains 420 words
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