Foucault Discipline And Punishment

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INTRODUCTION “Discipline is a political anatomy of detail.” Michel Foucault (Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison) Paul- Michel Foucault (1926–84) was a child of a family that enjoyed both social prestige and social power (David 2004:6). Foucault from his very childhood had the impression that the environment in which he grew up had its existence based on knowledge. He felt that a child’s education from childhood itself, was an apprenticeship of silence, and a child was rarely given the opportunity to freely express oneself. Thus, he felt that the outside world had an intimidating and intruding effect in one’s life. Foucault’s existence was the writing of his books,…show more content…
This book can very well be defined as a genealogy of prison system. In fact, it is considered to be one of the most influential text in contemporary studies about the prison system. Foucault is mostly interested with the disciplinary technologies perfected within the prison system and the production of manipulated docile bodies which exist far beyond this system. ANALYSING MICHEL FOUCAULT’S DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH Foucault opens Discipline and Punish with a graphic details, taken from eyewitness accounts, of how Robert Damiens was drawn and quartered. Without stopping to comment on the horrifying text, he abruptly switches to another document, from 1837, just 80 years later, which states the rules for a detention centre for young offenders in Paris. The prisoner’s day will begin at six in the morning in winter and five in the summer. They will work for nine hours a day throughout the year. Two hours a day will be devoted to instruction. Work and the day will end at nine o’clock in winter and at eight in the summer (Foucault…show more content…
It was a matter not of studying the theory of penal law in itself, or the evolution of such and such penal institutions, but of analysing the formation of certain ‘punitive rationality’...Instead of seeking the explanation in a general conception of the Law, or in the evolving modes of industrial production... it seemed to me far wiser to look at the working of power (Foucault 1984:337-8) Foucault does not agree with the conventional conception of Law i.e. when law is defined in the terms of rules and sanctions. For Foucault, law is neither a condition for the liberation of the individual, nor is it solely the result of class domination. (Turkel 1990:170). According to him, Law is an element in the expansion of power. In modern society, law operates along with power in various ways that expand patterns of social control, knowledge, and the documentation of individuals for institutionally useful ends. A Foucauldian account of law is not restricted to the notion that the law can be determined only by economic and political structures, instead he argues that, law must be examined in terms of its internal relations of power and knowledge as well as its relations to other discourses and sources of
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