Discipline Versus Punishment Essay

It was particularly useful because prisoners could never be sure if they were being watched, which encouraged them, even in their private moments, to perform the values of the dominant class; or in Foucauldian terms, the unequal gaze triggered the internalization of disciplinary individualities and, ultimately, a docile body.The public was less likely to break the law if it always thought it was being watched.Regarding public spectacles or ceremonies of torture, Foucault asserts that this was intended by the state to make the punishment, even if unjust, seem just; to give the state, which had a grievance, a body to take its anger out on; to reflect the violence of the original crime and warn other citizens to avoid it.

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He also outlines how scientific authority in medicine, psychology, and criminology cannot help but create delinquents.

And so, an omnipresent system of societal discipline and punishment continues.

In Discipline, the most famous chapter of the book, Foucault traces how notions of discipline gave rise to current models of incarceration.

With the rise of technology and scientific knowledge, people were increasingly thought of in small, separable parts.

Long considered an effective, and even necessary, means of socialising children, physical punishment has been revealed to be a predictor of a wide range of negative developmental outcomes.

The extent of agreement in the research literature on this issue is unusual in the social sciences.Either way, the state recovered its power through torture.With public torture allowed, however, there were several unintended consequences for the state.The forum gave the convict an opportunity to garner sympathy; the executioner could receive more blame than the criminal; the execution could provide a reason for the public to riot.Foucault argues that this system of relying on public torture was ineffective in securing the property of the ruling class, that is, the bourgeoisie.To illustrate his assertion, Foucault references the twinned progression of scientific knowledge and advances in technology.Historically, knowledge is the same thing as power.Too many revolutions would occur, such as the French Revolution in 1789.The ruling class required a system that was more ordered and generalized, more modern.In the second part, Punishment, Foucault discusses the “gentle punishments” that preceded prisons. Reformists, Foucault writes, really wanted the state to have the ability to judge and punish anyone.With this impulse, “mini-theatres” of punishments arose, such as chain gains.


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