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The Autonomous AnimalSelf-Governance and the Modern Subject$
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Claire E. Rasmussen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816669561

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816669561.001.0001

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Freedom and Self-Governance

(p.167) Conclusion
The Autonomous Animal

Claire E. Rasmussen

University of Minnesota Press

The conclusion addresses the tensions between autonomy as the resistance against various forms of power and self-governance as the necessary limitations of individual power. The examples examined in the book—adolescent sexuality, the drug war, animal rights, and endurance athletes—provide snapshots of how the norm of autonomy works in contingent, shifting ways with rather than against power. The characterization of the subject as subjectification is not a surrender of the self to relationships of power but a call to be self-critical, attentive to the ways in which the self is always constructed with a given context and cognizant of the fact that these relationships could be changed. If we view autonomy not as the end of political life but as a means, we may cultivate different ways of relating to ourselves and others.

Keywords:   political life, autonomy, self-governance, subjectification, relationships of power

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