Foucault - Power/Knowledge

2372 WordsJan 11, 201210 Pages
Foucault’s theorisation of the power/knowledge relationship Foucault in theorizing the relationship between power and knowledge basically focused on how power operated in the institutions and in its techniques. The point is how power was supported by knowledge in the functioning of institutions of punishment. “He places the body at the centre of the struggles between different formations of power/knowledge. The techniques of regulation are applied to the body” (Wheterell et al., 2001: 78) Power is the ability to control others or one’s entity. Accordingly it can be defined as a kind of strength or as an authority. There are various theorisations about the meaning of this term in sociology thus it would be hard to give a comprehensive…show more content…
When plague turned up the old system followed the then methods of observation and surveillance, plague was everywhere thus the supporting power must have been mobilized. In this case “power is mobilized; it makes itself everywhere present and visible; it invents new mechanism; it separates; it immobilizes” etc. to make people act as it was expected in these conditions (because of the plague almost every interactions must have been stopped in the interest of getting rid of the disease). (Foucault, 1975) The Panopticon instead of exercising power from several sides emphasises the importance and perfection of the surveillance focus from one place. The Panopticon is a building which has an annual part in the periphery and a tower in the centre. Next to omitting little details its most important feature is the ability to see into every cells without being visible. “The panoptic mechanism arranges spatial unities that make it possible to see constantly and to recognize immediately.” (Calhoun et al., 2007: 209) The consciousness of being watched make people put on their best behaviour, their best way of acting thus the inmates do not commit any further crimes as it usually occurs that could happen without being watched. The operation of this building gives the
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