Discipline & Punish : The Birth of the Prison

Michel Foucault

Paperback

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People aren't deterred from crime through torture as a spectacle and show of power but made to conform to society and a way of being through the control of information. Prison is the place where control and constraints can be placed on humans without much uproar, tabs can be kept on them in order to control them, and they can be "rehabilitated" or habituated into conforming to the "norm". Knowledge and power go hand in hand in the control of humans alluding to Foucault's concept of "Bio-power". 

If I know everything about you I can control your every move and manipulate you. Even more so, I can control you if I can control the information and knowledge you have or have the opportunity to get.

“Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?” ~~~ Michel Foucault

Barely two hundred and fifty years ago man condemned of attempting to assassinate the King of France was drawn and quartered in a grisly spectacle that suggested an unmediated duel between the violence of the criminal and the violence of the state. This groundbreaking book by the most influential philosopher since Sartre compels us to reevaluate our assumptions about all the ensuing reforms in the penal institutions of the West. For as he examines innovations that range from the abolition of torture to the institution of forced labor and the appearance of the modern penitentiary, Michel Foucault suggests that punishment has shifted its locus from the prisoner's body to his soul--and that our very concern with rehabilitation encourages and refines criminal activity.


Lucidly reasoned and deftly marshaling a vast body of research, Discipline and Punish is a genuinely revolutionary book, whose implications extend beyond the prison to the minute power relations of our society.

ISBN 9780679752554
List price $16.95
Publisher Vintage Books
Year of publication
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