Foucault wants to tie scientific knowledge and technological development to the development of the prison to prove this point. He defines a "micro-physics" of power, which is constituted by a power that is strategic and tactical rather than acquired, preserved or possessed.
He explains that power and knowledge imply one another, as opposed to the common belief that knowledge exists independently of power relations knowledge is always contextualized in a framework which makes it intelligible, so the humanizing discourse of psychiatry is an expression of the tactics of oppression. In What is an Author?
Foucault also deals with notion of identity, and its use as a method of control, regulation, and tracking. He begins by examining public torture and execution. He argues that the public spectacle of torture and execution was a theatrical forum, the original intentions of which eventually produced several unintended consequences.
Foucault stresses the exactitude with which torture is carried out, and describes an extensive legal framework in which it operates to achieve specific purposes. Foucault describes public torture as a ceremony. It also made the body of the condemned man the place where the vengeance of the sovereign was applied, the anchoring point for a manifestation of power, an opportunity of affirming the dissymmetry of forces.
Foucault looks at public torture as the outcome "of a certain mechanism of power" that views crime in a military schema. Crime and rebellion are akin to a declaration of war. The sovereign was not concerned with demonstrating the ground for the enforcement of its laws, but of identifying enemies and attacking them, the power of which was renewed by the ritual of investigation and the ceremony of public torture.
Some unintended consequences were:. Public torture and execution was a method the sovereign deployed to express his or her power, and it did so through the ritual of investigation and the ceremony of execution—the reality and horror of which was supposed to express the omnipotence of the sovereign but actually revealed that the sovereign's power depended on the participation of the people.
Torture was made public in order to create fear in the people, and to force them to participate in the method of control by agreeing with its verdicts.
Governmentality revisited: Bourdieu meets Foucault | Emerald Insight
But problems arose in cases in which the people through their actions disagreed with the sovereign, by heroizing the victim admiring the courage in facing death or in moving to physically free the criminal or to redistribute the effects of the strategically deployed power. Thus, he argues, the public execution was ultimately an ineffective use of the body, qualified as non-economical.
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As well, it was applied non-uniformly and haphazardly. Hence, its political cost was too high. It was the antithesis of the more modern concerns of the state: order and generalization. So it had to be reformed to allow for greater stability of property for the bourgeoisie. Firstly, the switch to prison was not immediate and sudden. There was a more graded change, though it ran its course rapidly.
Prison was preceded by a different form of public spectacle. The theater of public torture gave way to public chain gangs.
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Punishment became "gentle", though not for humanitarian reasons, Foucault suggests. He argues that reformists were unhappy with the unpredictable, unevenly distributed nature of the violence the sovereign would inflict on the convict. The sovereign's right to punish was so disproportionate that it was ineffective and uncontrolled. Reformists felt the power to punish and judge should become more evenly distributed, the state's power must be a form of public power. This, according to Foucault, was of more concern to reformists than humanitarian arguments.
Out of this movement towards generalized punishment, a thousand "mini-theatres" of punishment would have been created wherein the convicts' bodies would have been put on display in a more ubiquitous, controlled, and effective spectacle. Prisoners would have been forced to do work that reflected their crime, thus repaying society for their infractions. This would have allowed the public to see the convicts' bodies enacting their punishment, and thus to reflect on the crime. But these experiments lasted less than twenty years. Muhle, Maria. Eine Genealogie der Biopolitik. Zum Begriff des Lebens bei Foucault und Canguilhem.
Reckwitz, Andreas. Zum Strukturwandel der Moderne.
Berlin: Suhrkamp, Bielefeld: Transcript, Saar, Martin. Die Immanenz der Macht. Politische Theorie nach Spinoza. Erdur, O. Le foucaldien , 4 1 , p. Erdur O. Le foucaldien. Le Foucaldien , 4 1 , 6.
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Erdur, Onur. Le Foucaldien 4 1 : 6. Le Foucaldien 4, no. Erdur, O.. Le Foucaldien , vol.
Governmentality revisited: Bourdieu meets Foucault
He himself repeatedly tried to explain this shift as a continuous development, and many publications continued this task in various regards. Centered on his books and especially on his courses, Elden also sheds light on how Foucault researched and worked, individually as well as collaboratively. Therefore, and retrospectively, population can be seen as the key transition, leading Foucault to sexuality, which then appears as the crossroads of body and population, discipline and regulation.
The following chapters explicitly deal with the arrhythmic pace in which the History of Sexuality was carried out, originally in announced as a series of six volumes. All the aspects and instruments of power Foucault analyzed over decades are reassembled in the notion of governing self and others: knowledge and discipline, regulation and observing, analyzing and interpreting p. In and after various rearrangements, Foucault felt close to inally inishing his project. In August , again changes are made. The by now three remaining volumes are structured anew.
His book is detailed, well written, and brilliantly constructed. Related Papers. By Kurt Borg.