Michel Foucault: Power and Identity Essay

1990 Words 8 Pages
Introduction
Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman’s work was centralised around there two different concepts of how your identity is formed through the process of power and expert knowledge. This Essay will discuss the ideas of Michel Foucault who was a French Social Theorist. His theories addressed the relationship between power and knowledge and how both of these are used as a form of social control through society. The essay will look at Foucault’s work in The Body and Sexuality, Madness and Civilisation and Discipline and Punish which displays how he conceptualised Power and identity on a Marxist and macro basis of study. The Essay will also address the Ideas of Erving Goffman who was A Canadian Born Sociologist who’s key study was what
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For example in the setting of a workplace the power does not pass from the top down; instead it circulates through their organizational practices. Such practices act like a grid, provoking and inciting certain courses of action and denying others. Foucault considers this as no straightforward matter and believes that it rests on how far individuals interpret what is being laid down as "obvious" or "self evident", institutional power works best when all parties accept it willingly. Foucault's notion of power is a difficult notion to grasp principally because it is never entirely clear on who has the power in the first place, once the idea is removed that power must be vested in someone at the top of the ladder, it becomes much more difficult to identify what power is or where and whom it lies with. Foucault believes that we are used to thinking about power as an identifiable and overt force and that this view is simply not the case, because it is taken for granted that the above statement is true then it is much more complicated to comprehend power as a guiding force that does not show itself in an obvious manner.
In Foucault’s work “The Body and Sexuality” Foucault suggests, power no longer asserts itself as a deduction, as a "right of death." The primary interest of power now is
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