Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Michel FoucaultGoodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books, No other thinker since Foucault has had more of an impact on history, literature, cultural studies, and a number of other disciplines that comprise the humanities and social sciences, if not the gamut of them. This goes without saying. No other thinker has caused so much debate and division within history in the past few decades as has Foucault. Again, this goes without saying.
Discipline and Punish is a history of the modern penal system. Foucault seeks to analyze punishment in its social context, and to examine how changing power relations affected punishment. He begins by analyzing the situation before the eighteenth century, when public execution and corporal punishment were key punishments, and torture was part of most criminal investigations. Punishment was ceremonial and directed at the prisoner's body. It was a ritual in which the audience was important. Public execution reestablished the authority and power of the King.
It is an analysis of the social and theoretical mechanisms behind the changes that occurred in Western penal systems during the modern age based on historical documents from France. Foucault argues that prison did not become the principal form of punishment just because of the humanitarian concerns of reformists. He traces the cultural shifts that led to the predominance of prison via the body and power. Prison used by the "disciplines" — new technological powers that can also be found, according to Foucault, in places such as schools, hospitals, and military barracks. In a later work, Security, Territory, Population , Foucault admitted that he was somewhat overzealous in his argument that disciplinary power conditions society; he amended and developed his earlier ideas. The main ideas of Discipline and Punish can be grouped according to its four parts: torture, punishment, discipline, and prison. These examples provide a picture of just how profound the changes in western penal systems were after less than a century.
MICHEL FOUCAULT, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. is not so much a history of punishment as a structural2 analysis of power, or, to be.
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