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Performing an intervention
journal contributionposted on 2013-07-30, 00:00 authored by Daniel MarshallDaniel Marshall, Mary Rasmussen
What does it mean to intervene, or to perform an intervention? Presumptively conﬂictual, the term ﬁnds meaning in its clinical and behavioural application as an enforced practice of modiﬁcation: one performs an intervention on an (often) unwilling subject. Cut one way, you could tell a history of sex/ualities education as a history of interventions of this kind: efforts to interrupt and redirect affective investments, sexual practices and undesirable identiﬁcations. The sexually active young person, the homosexual, the single mother, people of colour, people with disabilities, indigenous people, promiscuous poor people – these are some of intervention’s favourite things. These are subjects constituted in part through histories of psycho-therapeutic, medical and health educational correction, histories that are still elaborating themselves through a series of familiar contemporary concerns and campaigns.