What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

The Repressive Hypothesis

The Big Idea for Saturday, March 30, 2013

In his great work, The History of Sexuality, the French theorist Michael Foucault debunked the idea that western society suppressed sexuality from the 17th to the mid-20th century. Discourse on sexuality, however, was not in fact confined to marriage.

Psychiatry, for instance, itself became an outlet that freed people from the confines of conventional morality. However, Foucault pointed out the paradox of all of this: why do we proclaim so loudly that we are repressed, why do we talk so much about how we can't talk about sex? Instead of liberating ourselves in the way we would like to think, psychology ended up creating a prison of its own, a prison of discourse that is itself a form of preaching. Everything comes back to sex, and our identity becomes inextricably tied to it.

In today's lesson, the sociologist Eva Illouz shows how so much of what we think about failures in our romantic life are bound up in cultural biases that are derived from this discourse on sexuality. 

Perspectives

  1. 1 Romantic Failure: A Cultural and Cognitive Bias
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 The Power Struggle of Love
    Robert Greene
  3. 3 The Myth of Happiness
    Sonja Lyubomirsky
  4. 4 The Dollars and Sense of Romance
    Ted Fischer
 

The Repressive Hypothesis

Newsletter: Share: