Comparing Foucault's Discipline And Punish

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Foucault’s work “Discipline and Punish” is centered in the idea that punishment is rational. This has led to a lot of criticism, because he discounts that punishment is also can be an irrational and emotional reaction. We witness in Niveen’s case that punishment can involve cultural values and popular sentiment. Adam’s adoptive family had a powerful effect in the legal process: indirectly influencing the jury’s final decision. “There’s this very American notion that mothers should be self-reliant, capable of taking care of their kids without any support…a poor kid is rescued by the state, given a new mom and dad, and the slate is wiped clean.” Sacha Coupet, a professor of law at Loyola University Chicago, stated about the irrationality of laws…show more content…
So many of us, however, do not realize how different and yet similar the lives of some of our fellow Americans are.” Barbara Aswad, an anthropologist and expert on Muslim women both in the Middle East and in the United States, wrote in an article about Muslim families in United States. The different languages, religious beliefs, values, and practices can become an issue and challenge. The clashing of cultures was seen in Niveen’s case; this comes in accordance with Durkheim’s theory that punishment is directly linked with the collective principles of a society. David Garland introduced Durkheim’s sociology by writing: “[F]or Durkheim, punishment was an institution which was connected to the very heart of society. Penal sanctioning represented for him a tangible example of the ‘collective conscience’ at work, in a process that both expressed and regenerated society’s values.” It is difficult to judge a case like Niveen’s because it lack physical evidence, thus it is entirely based on cultural moral values. Contrary to Foucault’s theory, Durkheim considered punishment irrational, he believed that: “[P]assion… is the soul of punishment.” Niveen’s trail seemed to be driven by passion: the social worker’s passion to penalize a ‘bad mother’. However, the legal process was not so ‘primitive’ for it become totally unreasonable. In Adam’s custody it was taken into consideration his “best

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