Paul-Michael Foucault theories primarily addressed the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as an outline of social control through societal institutions. However, he does not have any exact clarification or tenet in regards to power. His thought is brimming with logical inconsistencies; he adores to manage contention and resistances toward with his own particular logic and methodologies. He argues numerous points in relation to puissance (French word means power) and offers definitions that are specifically contradicted to more conventional liberal and Marxist hypotheses of energy. Foucault makes some shockingly solid claims about power, which may even appear to be conflicting, both with another principal guarantee
His argument doesn’t neglect the fact that same-sex desires or relationships were new; his findings revealed that sexual desire runs deeper than just sex. Foucault found that our desires reveal some fundamental truth about who we are and that we, as a society and as individuals, have an obligation to explore ourselves, find our truth, and express it. Within Foucault’s framework, sex isn’t just something we do. He instead argues that the kind of sex you have or desire to have become a “symptom” of your sexuality. Foucault focuses on the Victorian era, the time period when people began to move away from confession in the biblical sense to psychiatry as the main means of confession and guidance.
Foucault writes that the objective of his book was to “serve as a political background to various studies of the power of normalization and the formation of knowledge in modern society” (308). We can examine the power-relations that stem from surveillance within a society to understand what Foucault meant by this statement. In Surveillance, Power and Everyday Life, David Lyon defines surveillance as literally meaning to watch over (Lyon, 2). With the threat of someone constantly watching your actions in panoptic institutions, the idea “people do alter their behaviours when they are aware that they are under surveillance” is not unsurprising (Lyon, 8). While the most apparent form of surveillance taking place in the prison took the form of guards watching over the inmates, other methods of surveillance could be found.
This essay consists of the concepts of punishment and discipline, given by Michel Foucault. It also consists of the critic of his theory. Michel Foucault was a French philosopher and a historian. He was involved in the structural and post-structural movement. He also has had a strong influence on the humanistic and scientific display.
If in ‘Docile Bodies’ Foucault claims that an efficient body is a disciplined body, in Naked Lunch too the body is disciplined in order to become efficient in the preservation of control in the detriment of autonomy. The correlation with the French thinker is due to his understanding of the docile body as an object of power, an idea well illustrated in Naked Lunch, and presented as follows by Foucault: ‘The classical age discovered the body as object and target of power. It is easy enough to find signs of the attention then paid to the body – to the body that is manipulated, shaped, trained, which obeys, responds, becomes skillful and increases its forces… in every society, the body was the grip of very strict powers, which imposed on it constraints, prohibitions or obligations’ . The body becomes an efficient tool of power when the body is being interfered with, controlled, in order to conform to a particular political mechanism and arrangement. The ‘formula of domination’ , as Foucault calls it, is defined by ‘a policy of coercions that act upon the body, a calculated manipulation of its elements, its gestures, it behavior.
In Discipline and Punish, how does Foucault use Jeremy Bentham’s prison design to create an argument about the functioning of power and society? According to Foucault, why do citizens follow the rules of their society? Give an example of the functioning of the panopticon in your everyday life. Foucault uses Jeremy Bentham’s prison design to start an argument about the functioning of power and society. First is the design of the jail, there is the windows on the periphery which extend to the width of the entire building.
Civil disobedience is the deliberate action against an unjust law to invoke a positive change in government and society. Civilians have the right to refute these types of unjust laws to eliminate inequality and government’s unjust nature by following conscience before laws for moral guidance. As demonstrated in Antigone, this is depicted by the daughter of Oedipus, who disobeys Creon’s law for the greater good because of the laws unjust nature. In Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist, promotes this concept as well through his philosophical standpoint of the flaws of the government. Lastly, in Dr. King’s letter he qualifies the idea of civilians disobeying their government through non violent campaigns to stand up against
Truth through Confession: An analysis on Rousseau and Foucault How do we know the truth about ourselves and how do we communicate it? Foucault explores these questions in The History of Sexuality where he poses the “repressive hypothesis” that repressing sex in society caused the opposite effect. There occurred a proliferation of sexual discourse where sex became part of every sector of society entering spaces such as education and medicine. The confession is the primary means of discourse, in other words how information and power are disseminated in society. To Foucault the confession is a mechanism that produces truth; through confession we are creating a truth about ourselves.
Foucault portrays power as a relational force that penetrates society, linking social groups in a network of mutual influence. As a relational force, power builds social organization and hierarchy, by shaping human desires and opinions, and by imposing discipline and order. For him power does not exist within the empirical world, rather, purely as a relationship with the capacity to be expressed even at the lowest level. This denies a centralized view of power, which states that power within a society is largely focused at the top, with no power reserved for the lower levels. In this case power as a faculty can be expressed on the individual level regardless of their standing in society or the class system.