This helps us to understand power relations and hierarchies better within society. Although the presences of these advantages are clear, Foucault’s concept of disciplinary power has also been critiqued by many. Firstly, Foucault’s analysis of disciplinary power was developed in as well as for the European context, and therefore seems to lack any relevance within the context of Southern Africa (Hook, 2004). Therefore, his theory is not universal and cannot be related to contexts outside of
When one delves into the beginnings of the French Revolution, the motives and actions of the National Assembly, and the Terror of the French Revolution, one can obviously see the influence of two Enlightenment political theorists, Rousseau and Montesquieu. A key political theorist influencing the initial outbreak of the French Revolution is Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Social Contract, written by Rousseau, provided the rights the French people initially demanded. In the Social Contract, Rousseau delegitimizes absolute monarchies and popularizes rights of
MICHEL FOUCAULT ON SEXUALITY Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, philologist and social theorist. He made discourses on the relationship between power and knowledge and about how they are utilized as a form of social control through social establishments. This essay talks about Michel Foucault’s discourse on sexuality. He put forward his theory of the history of sexuality. He talked about how the experts began examining sexuality in a scientific manner in order to learn the “truth” of sex.
On initial reading of lecture nine (‘American neo-liberalism (I)’), in Michel Foucault’s 1979 seminal lectures entitled The Birth of Biopolitics, it seemed rather clear to me that he was critiquing the neo-liberal order. Foucault mocked economist Gary Becker’s theory of human capital , and how humans are demoted to robots, with the sarcastic repetition of “ability-machines”. However, in 2013, after looking into Foucault’s work, Becker states, “but as I read the essay [lecture 10] it’s hard for me to see something in that essay that Foucault doesn’t like in terms of my work.” (Harcourt, Becker & Ewald 2013, 7). He made this fascinating observation in a dialogue with Bernard Harcourt, and Foucault’s close associate and producer of the lecture
Since it is not an option for cruel punishment to be used as a deterrence, the question arises; how does the state exhibit and enforce their supremacy upon the general public to ensure that individuals abide by the norms and customs of society? The goal of this paper is to answer this question through the utilization of French philosopher Michel Foucault’s theory of power. The paper will outline the key components that caused most democratic countries to move away from the idea of cruel penalties as a way to ensure obedience to the set rules. The paper will also differentiate between sovereign and disciplinary power, primarily concentrating on the prevailing relationship between modern society and disciplinary power. By doing so, additional scholars will be incorporated to examine various viewpoints on the notion of power and contrast any critiques present with Foucault’s ideas.
Foucault in order to study the structures of society and social reality he made use of the role of discourse and language in shaping the same. Foucault focused on social reality and the underlying truth in it. He has used main elements like discourse, language, power, knowledge and truth in understanding the existing truth in it. As per the writings and thoughts of Foucault (1977), he connects discourse with knowledge and mentioned that it is through this we are created; and discourse acts as a catalyst between power and knowledge using language as a medium of force. Thus it will be more clear with the below figure representing
At first glance and brief investigation it becomes clear the philosophy of Michel Foucault predominantly centres around the idea of power and through further inspection how power operates in society, how do people, institutions, governments & nations gain or lose power and furthermore how do they maintain or exercise said power and his central theme or revelation regarding power seems to be that it is closely connected with knowledge. Michel Foucault is regarded as a politically charged activist type of philosopher as through research and documented evidence we find that although his philosophy and intellectual ideas span across and cover a vast array of topics such as how society has oppressed and exiled those deemed insane and psychologically unfit in his critically acclaimed ‘Madness in Civilization’ or his general criticism of the bourgeoisie power structures through neutral seeming institutions such a hospitals and doctor clinics in “The Birth of the Clinic”. Michel Foucault argues that modern medicine which is mainly attributed to the capitalist proletariat class is fundamentally sinister because they claim an abundant amount of power though there is no impartial body to regulate the way in which they exercise power, instead of healing and attempting to genuinely understand and look further to those deemed ‘insane’ they simply label, categorize and recognize and treat the diagnosed symptoms of there patients like mechanical animals. In my interpretation it seems that
The modern era can be categorized as a period in which power, and its structures, dispersed. No longer could one identify discrete institutions, organizations, or individuals who held a majority of power over the common people. While in the past, feudalism, the church, and the king governed much of an individual’s conduct, the modern era, marked by the emergence of modern, industrial capitalism, diffused this power among many different institutions, organizations, and individuals. Foucault’s Discipline and Punish explores the changes in modes of punishment and imprisonment occurring at this time and driven by the major political technologies that shaped disciplinary practices. Many of these advents relate to the prevailing societal understanding of the body as a modern machine.
The extent to which our location within the so called “disciplinary civilization” remains invested in speculation and conjecture, as opposed to classical civilization’s traditional commitment to induction, is well-demonstrated by Michel Foucault’s critical interrogations of (1)pedagogical systems that strictly demand that, in exchange for its programmatic implantation within its student/client bodies of the requisite skills and attitudes that enable them to proliferate of (not exactly sensible) production that they exhibit a generalized obedience and docility, (2)the penal apparatus,(3)the scientia sexualis (deployments of sexuality),that in their togetherness establish and maintain and amplify the social grid, the practices of social partitioning, which have been responsible for today’s intolerable, unconscionable, and verifiable intensities of human suffering. I. Introduction This paper expounds on the statement provided above by examining and analyzing the works of Foucault. It is organized as follows: the next section offers an overview of how ‘disciplinary society’ emerged by giving a background on sovereign-ruled society. Section 3 discusses the move to a ‘disciplinary society’ and what