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Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault . Born:15-Oct-1926 Birthplace: Poitiers, France Died: 26-Jun-1984 Location of Death: Paris, France Cause of Death: Aids . Major Books. Disciple and punishment 1975 The history of sexuality 1976 The order of things 1966 Madness and civilization 1964

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Michel Foucault

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  1. Michel Foucault Born:15-Oct-1926 Birthplace: Poitiers, France Died: 26-Jun-1984 Location of Death: Paris, France Cause of Death: Aids

  2. Major Books • Disciple and punishment 1975 • The history of sexuality 1976 • The order of things 1966 • Madness and civilization 1964 • The archaeology of knowledge 1969

  3. Discipline and Punishment: the birthplace of prison • Power is the major theme of the book as Foucault calls his study a micro-physics of power. He is looking at how power operates in our society. The prison, court, school, hospital are all just the technical implements for the exercise of power.

  4. Power He states: For the definition of power, I do not have in mind a general system of domination exerted by one group over another (class oppression), a system whose effects, through successive derivations, pervades the entire social body.

  5. The analysis made in terms of power, must not assume that the sovereignty of the astute, the form of the law, or the overall unity of domination are not fundamental forms, rather these are the terminal forms or shapes that power takes.

  6. So each of these forms of power (sovereignty, law, domination) may in fact be present in certain contexts as terminal forms, but none are fundamental. And Foucault's first task in understanding power is therefore to develop a new method – based on a richer theory – that begins with the basic molecules of power relations and then builds to more complex forms.

  7. These ideologies (sovereignty, law,..) have functioned by which most of the actual meaning of power is obscured. • Panopticon: “seeing all”, or the idea of control over people and their actions by very few people. کنترل اکثریت به وسیله اقلیت • Birth of Panopticon: some people say it has a utilitarian purpose سودمند بودن برای پیشبرد اهداف جامعه

  8. The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Benthamin the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow a single watchman to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether they are being watched or not. Although it is physically impossible for the single watchman to observe all cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that all inmates must act as though they are watched at all times, effectively controlling their own behavior constantly.

  9. The name is also a reference to Argus Panoptes from Greek mythology; he was a giant creature with a hundred eyes and thus was known to be a very effective watchman.

  10. فوکو مفهوم پانوپتیکون (نظارت فراگیر) را از ایده های جرمی بنتام درباره طراحی زندان ها، بیمارستان ها و تیمارستان ها گرفت و برای توضیح تعیین کنندگی بستر و ساختار از آن بهره برد. پانوپتیکون به طراحی معمارانه ای اشاره دارد که بنتام در آنجا نگهبانان را در مرکز (معمولا در تاریکی) زندان قرار می دهد و فوکو از این طرح به عنوان استعاره ای برای زندگی مدرن بهره برده است. استعاره ای حاکی از آنکه نظارت به ساختار پانیپتوکونی بدون کشیدن دیوار، امکان وجود می دهد. امروزه همه مردم به لطف فناوری های الکترونیکی با بهره گیری از ترکیب انگاره های اجتماعی و هنری در معرض تماشا هستند و اما با نظارت کنندگان و سایر نظارت شوندگان در ارتباط نیستند. گیدنز نیز زمانی که ویژگی جامعه مدرن را سازمان و مراقبت ذکر کرد، از این مثال متاثر بوده است. امروز، اندیشه افکار عمومی دنیا برگرفته از اسطوره ها و استعاره ها و نمادها (سمبل) و انگاره (ایماژ) های رسانه ای و عموما مونتاژ شده است و دستکاری افکار عمومی از رهگذر شناخت انگیزه های درونی آنها و به صورت پروژه ای انجام می پذیرد.

  11. In this form of power domination, the ideal city is where peace and love are sovereign. Everybody likes to try to put everything in order to guarantee their own peace and love., esp. those in power. They rule, they are selfish. The whole city is made up of multiple circles controlled by three commanders: • Power: surveillance • Knowledge: control everything based on information, it controls arts, science, schools کارت شناسایی, you are constantly controlled • Love: Limits people’s productions of thought, creates selfishness

  12. Bentham says this is a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind. • Panopticon: It aimed to be a tool for distributing individuals in space, for ordering them in a visible way. He is seen, but does not see. He is the object of information.

  13. Normalization/Panopticon • Foucault however points to an additional rationality built into the project of panopticon. It offered a logic of efficiency but also of normalization. • By normalization Foucault means a system of finely gradated and measurable intervals in which individuals can be distributed around a norm – a norm which both organizes and is the result of this controlled distribution.

  14. How does normalization take place? • Normalization needs the following elements: • A - a new legitimized rationality • B - a new social epistemology They lead to new transformation known as new normative laws

  15. A system of normalization is opposed to be a system of law or a system of personal power. There are no fixed pivot points from which to make judgments, to impose will. Normative, serialized (to use the Sartrean term) order is an essential component of the regime of the bio-power, for a power whose task is to take charge of life needs continuous regulatory and corrective mechanisms.

  16. Why are these powers important? • What is important about these concepts? Why do we care? • How can they help us to understand the world around us?

  17. Power and repression? • Does power repress? • Does power manage to repress our needs, desires, resistance…?

  18. Michel Foucault believes that power doesn’t not repress so much as it incites. • So what is the advantage of carrying such a false power, which does not lead to repression?

  19. Classical liberalism 18th century • In regard to power in one main way it is called Right to Death or Juridical Power • It is an unfair excuse of power • Judricial Power is exercised by monarchs • Enlightenment theorists like john lock, Thomas Hobbes, and Rousseau inherit this idea from monarch • They believe that monarchs use the power illegitimately

  20. According to Foucault: • The sovereign exercised his right of life only by exercising his right to kill, or by refraining from killing; he evidenced his power over life only through the death he was capable of requiring. The right which was formulated as the “power of life and death” was in reality the right to kill or let live. Its symbol, after all, was sword.

  21. The common features of juridical power • Prohibitions • Punishment Foucault comments: This juridical form must be referred to a historical type of society in which power was exercised mainly as a means of deduction, a subtraction mechanism, a right to appropriate a portion of the wealth, a tax of products, goods and services, labor and blood, levied on the subjects. Power in this instance was essentially a right of seizure; of things, time, bodies, and ultimately life itself. It culminated in the privilege to seize hold of life in order to suppress it.

  22. Therefore judricial power is a power that prevents you from doing something. • The law of speed control: if you cross the speed limit, you will be fined. Here we see prohibition and punishmentin a form of subtraction.

  23. Hence, this model of subtraction encourages us to think that power is exercised over us as a loss on our parts; the exercise of power takes away something from us. So it prohibits and then punishes.

  24. The agent of this prohibition and punishment is official institution. • Laws • Government • Police • Legislative branch This is usually what we think of political or governmental organization. So juridical power is housed and used by the official institutions – the power owned by these institutions is exercised on individuals.

  25. In juridical power, power is quantifiable, tangible: you have it or you don’t.if you exercise it by subtraction(taking away s.th from you), then you must be able to measure the subtraction. • When something is taken away from you, so it is tangible, which means you have it but you don’t have it right now, and you don’t know how much you had or that you don’t have that part right now.

  26. We think of power in terms of more or less, like I had power and now I don’t have, or my gaining of power maybe somebody else’s loss of power- it is a zero-sum game; my gain is your loss.

  27. The summary of Judricial Power • Means: prohibition (subtract possibility of action) and punishment ( subtract a fee for transgression --- imprisonment or capital punishment) • Location: official institutions • Individuals as both subjects and objects of power: they exercise power and power is exercised upon them

  28. Why is termed “juridico-discursive” representation of power? • It is juridical because it is modeled upon law, upon prohibition: “it is a power [more precisely a representation of power] whose model is essentially juridical, centered on nothing more than the statement of the law and the operation of taboos.

  29. But as Foucault makes clear, the actual operation of power cannot be reduced to one model – the law, the state, the domination – but instead functions in a variety of forms and with varying means and techniques.

  30. Second, according to this view, power is discursive (can be found in various forms), its prohibitions are tied together with what one can say as much as what one can do; in this way restrictions on language should also function as restrictions upon reality and actions. This is the heart of the logic of censorship.

  31. While this view emphasizes discourse as a primary arena in which power’s effects manifest, Foucault notes that discourses are related to power in much more complicated ways than this view could suggest: “discourses are not once and for all subservient to power or raised up against it … discourse can both be an instrument and an effect of power, but also a hindrance, a stumbling-block, apoint of resistance, and an starting point for an strategy;”

  32. According to this Juridio-discursive theory, power has five principal characteristics: • First, power always operates negatively: that is by means of prohibition. • Second, power always takes the form of a rule or law. This entails a binary system of permitted and forbidden, legal and illegal.

  33. These two characteristics together constitute the third: • 3.power operates through a cycle of prohibition, a law of interdiction (exclusion). • 4. Hence, this power manifests in three forms of prohibition:A)affirming that such a thing is not permitted,B)preventing it from being said C)denyingthat it exits – which reveal a logic of censorship

  34. Fifth and finally, the apparatus of this power is universal and uniform in its mode of operation: From top to bottom, in its overall decisions and its capillary interventions alike whatever the devices or institutions it relies, it acts in a uniform and comprehensive manner, it operates in a simple and endlessly reproduced mechanism of law, taboo, and censorship.

  35. Foucault's own theory of power is meant to replace all these “juridico-discursive” account: • It is this image that we must break free of, that is of the theoretical privilege of law and sovereignty, if we wish to analyze power within the concrete and historical framework of its operation. We must construct an analytics of power that no longer takes law as a model and a code.

  36. A Foculdian view of power • It must be understood as: 1) the multiplicity of the forced relations immanent (present everywhere) in the sphere (the area) in which they operate and constitute their own organization;

  37. 2) the process which through ceaseless struggles and confrontations, transforms, strengthens, or reverses them (force relations) • 3)the support which these force relations find in one another, thus forming a chain or a system, or on the contrary the disjunctions, differences and contradictions which isolate them from one another.

  38. The strategies in which they take effect whose general design or institutional crystallization is embodied (included) in the state apparatus, in the formulation of the law, in the various social hegemonies (controlling system).

  39. FoculdianPanopticon (discipline) and its extension • Synopticon: the control of minority by majority. This concept was introduced in 1987 by Thomas Matheisen (like a president who is constantly under close watch by a country) • Monopticon: the control of individual by individual and individual by himself

  40. In the “subject and Power” Foucault states his aim: “he wanted to study the how of power” not how does it manifest itself, but “by what means is it exercised?” • Power in a given society is “unspoken warfare”. It is a silent, secret civil war that reinscribes conflict in various social institutions in economic inequalities, in language, in every one of us • The self is seen chiefly as a tool of power ; selfhood was normalized subjectivity; the self remains a prey to power

  41. Subjectification/Objectification • Foucault developed the concept of power as “able to take the form of subjectification, “I” the self as a tool of power, a product of domination, rather than as a tool of personal freedom. This became Foucault's main theme. • His aim has not been to analyze the phenomenon of power nor to elaborate the foundation of such an analysis; it’s been to create a history of different modes by which in our culture, human beings are made subjects.

  42. Three modes of Objectification • 1. dividing practices: the most famous is “isolation of lepers” during the middle ages. The confinement of the poor, the insane and the vagabond; e.g. the rise of modern psychiatry and its entry into hospitals and prisons in the 19th century and finally the mediclization, stigmatization. Society decides the social abnormalities

  43. In different fashions the subject is objectified by a process of division either within himself or from others. In this way human beings are given both a social and personal identity. Those ‘dividing practices” are modes of manipulation that combine the mediation of science or pseudo-science

  44. 2. Scientific classification Those modes of inquiry that give themselves the status of science • 3. Subjectification The way a human being turns him or herself into a subject. e.g. Foucault says it is a self-formation in which the person is active. Not power, but the subject has been the main theme of Foucault’s research

  45. Foucault is primarily concerned with isolating those techniques through which the person initiates an active self-formation. This self-formation has a long and complicated genealogy; it takes place through a variety of “operations on [people’s] own bodies, on their own souls, on their own thoughts, on their own conducts”.

  46. These operations characteristically entail a process of self-understanding but one which is mediated by an external authority figure, be he confessor (priest) or psychoanalyst. Foucault encourages us to reflect critically upon why it is that we desire someone else to tell us what to think and what to do , why we must believe that we have absolute and universal norms that dictate our thoughts and actions as well as the effects upon the effects of that desire (1982:8). “The subject and Power” in Michel Foucault beyond structuralism and hermeneutics

  47. “What is good”? Foucault tells us that comes through innovation. The good does not exist… in an atemporal sky, with people who be like the astrologers of the Good, whose job is to determine what is the favorable nature of the stars. The good is invented by us, it is practiced, it is invented. And this is a collaborative, joint work.

  48. Foucault states: “each new work profoundly changes the terms of thinking which I had reached with previous work. In this sense I consider myself more of an experimenter than a theorist; I don’t develop deductive systems to apply uniformly in different felids of research. When I write I do it above all to change myself and not to think the same thing before. (1991, 27) “how an ‘experience book’ is born”. In Remarks on Marx

  49. During most of the 1960s, Foucault sought in a variety of ways, to analyze and isolate the structures of the human sciences treated as discursive systems. It is important to stress that Foucault did not see himself as a practitioner of these human sciences. They were his objects of study.

  50. Neo-Liberalism: Power over life • It exercises power over life beyond the juridical. It is the reform of the soul, rather than the punishment of the body. It talks about norms like body size, gender presentation, and Statistics like IQ rates, mortality rates… • The power over life wants us to have a better life and more life through micromanaging it. You try to manage your life by micromanaging its details.

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