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Foucault's Discipline and Punish: The birth of the prison Essay

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Foucault is best remembered for his historical inquiries into the origins of “disciplinary” society in a period extending from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Today, however, under the conditions of global modernity, the relevance of his contribution is often called into question. With the increasing ubiquity of markets, the break up of centralized states and the dissolution of national boundaries, the world today seems far removed from the bounded, disciplinary societies Foucault described in his most famous books. Far from disciplinary, society today is “post panoptic,” as Nancy Fraser has argued — in a move which seems to confirm Jean Baudrillard’s demand that we “forget Foucault.”

In order to answer the question, how Foucault’s theory of the disciplinary society can be used to understand the body in the society, I would like to begin this essay by returning to Foucault’s book – Discipline and Punish: The birth of the prison.
This book deals with the disciplinary institutions and practices that emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While discipline and punish is concerned with the birth of the prison in modern Europe, it has far wider implications for the everyday lives of ordinary citizens. Notions such as micro-power, disciplinary institutions, panopticism and normative judgements. Foucault developed this material through the research methods he called archaeology and genealogy. Both methods work to uncover the discursive formations and practices of different historical periods, but genealogy has a greater focus on questions of power, and the ways in which discursive power works on bodies. Power shows itself on a subject’s body because various events or happenings are written on the human body- they shape th...


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...n prison model disposed people to monitor themselves and others regarding the appropriateness or otherwise types of behaviour and body shape.







Bibliography:-

Chancer and Watkins. Gender, Race and Class. An Overview. (Blackwell Publishing)

Toni Lester. Gender Nonconformity, Race and Sexuality. Charting the Connections. (The University of Wisconsin Press)

Teresa de Lauretis. Technologies of Gender Essays on Theory, Film and Fiction (Palgrave Publication)

Kennan Malik. The Meaning of race. (Palgrave Publication)

Anne Cranny-Francis, Wendy Waring, Pam Stavropoulos, Joan Kirkby. Gender Studies. Terms and Debates. (Palgrave Publication)

Penelope Ingram. The Signifying Body. (State University of New York Press)

Mark Gibson. Culture and Power. (Berg Publication,New York)

Colin Burnham. Race. B.T.Batsford LTD. London.


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