Objectification and Instrumentalization: The Activation of Thanatos in Connection with “Body-Power”; or the Human Body as a Critical Object of Power in the Recent Social Reality

  •  Yana D. Nikolova    


This paper is about the ways in which the human body has been objectified under and through the use of power. The article explains the different aspects and ways of objectification of the body and the hidden nature of human behaviour that results from activation of the inner human instincts - the death drive, called Thanatos (Note 1) and the life drive called Eros as a response to Thanatos. By using the theories of Freud, Nussbaum, Erikson, Fanon and Foucault, the relationship between the human body and external power is examined. Using some recent events (such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the world lockdown and the Black Lives Matter movement) human behaviour is seen to result from activation of the inner drives (Eros (Note 2) and Thanatos), but also to be linked to the psychosexual and psychosocial aspects of human development.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.