Discipline And Punish By Nietzsche, Structuralism And Foucault 's Political Activism

1933 Words Sep 1st, 2016 8 Pages
‘Discipline and Punish’ does not claim to be a "structuralist" interpretation of the prison, the book is in many ways an attempt to give a theoretical grounding to what Foucault had seen, to explain the conditions and structures of the places he visited in terms of the operation of power in society. Three influences are particularly important in Discipline and Punish: Nietzsche, structuralism and Foucault 's political activism. None entirely explain his project, however.
There has been a shift in types of punishment for criminals. Once these tended to focus on torture are dismemberment applied directly to bodies, but now the notion of punishment involves a public appearance in court, as well as much more “humane” sentences. This change involves distancing ourselves from spectacle, and is accompanied by a division of labor between courts and jails. Crucially, there is also an underlying technology of punishment, which changes from machines to do capital punishment to developing social machines to accomplish reform or conversion. There is also a shift from a notion of the body as a site of pain to one where a body simply loses rights. This is not an even historical process, and not a simple one.
George Bernard Shaw, in Man and Superman (1903) said “Criminals do not die by the hands of the law. They die by the hands of other men.”
KEY WORDS: Surveillance, punishment, crime, soul purification

Punishment was always more than the punishment of specific crimes. It was a matter…
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