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Michel Foucault. Quick Review Marx – Ideology drives decision-making Marx – Ideology drives decision-making Haves (bourgeoisie) Haves (bourgeoisie) Have-nots.

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Presentation on theme: "Michel Foucault. Quick Review Marx – Ideology drives decision-making Marx – Ideology drives decision-making Haves (bourgeoisie) Haves (bourgeoisie) Have-nots."— Presentation transcript:

1 Michel Foucault

2 Quick Review Marx – Ideology drives decision-making Marx – Ideology drives decision-making Haves (bourgeoisie) Haves (bourgeoisie) Have-nots (proletariat) Have-nots (proletariat) Power is created by people in positions of power – messages are “top-down” Power is created by people in positions of power – messages are “top-down” “False Consciousness” – the false believe that we are in a better social position than we actual are “False Consciousness” – the false believe that we are in a better social position than we actual are

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4 Foucault vs. Marx Marx: capitalism is structure of domination: individuals are exploited (and exploitative) when inside this structure capitalism is structure of domination: individuals are exploited (and exploitative) when inside this structure only answer is to break system, create new one only answer is to break system, create new one Like Marx, Foucault interested in inequality, in the exercise of power – but he departs from Marxist approaches in fundamental ways Like Marx, Foucault interested in inequality, in the exercise of power – but he departs from Marxist approaches in fundamental ways For Foucault, “there is no escaping the house of power” For Foucault, “there is no escaping the house of power” For Foucault, social connectivity (i.e. the ability to stay connected through social media) makes it harder to visualize differences in power For Foucault, social connectivity (i.e. the ability to stay connected through social media) makes it harder to visualize differences in power Foucault believes that the principle of “false consciousness” has become so prominent that we cannot act outside of power Foucault believes that the principle of “false consciousness” has become so prominent that we cannot act outside of power Power becomes more subtle Power becomes more subtleFoucault: the individual is created by society and the power of the system is internalized; we perpetuate our own domination the individual is created by society and the power of the system is internalized; we perpetuate our own domination

5 From Brutality to Control Rise of social awareness makes brutal punishment less socially tolerable Rise of social awareness makes brutal punishment less socially tolerable Transition from extraordinarily brutal to more “ civilized ” forms of punishment Transition from extraordinarily brutal to more “ civilized ” forms of punishment May appear more humane, but Foucault questions these assumptions May appear more humane, but Foucault questions these assumptions Changes from spectacular brutality (execution) to small management and Changes from spectacular brutality (execution) to small management and Modern punishment intended to “ cure ” rather than kill Modern punishment intended to “ cure ” rather than kill punishment becomes “rehabilitation”: punishment becomes “rehabilitation”: intended not to punish offense but to neutralize person’s dangerous side, restore individual so s/he can function in society intended not to punish offense but to neutralize person’s dangerous side, restore individual so s/he can function in society punishment is, in a sense, treatment (p 22) punishment is, in a sense, treatment (p 22)

6 Power/knowledge contemporary society combines knowledge and power as a means for social control contemporary society combines knowledge and power as a means for social control Means more than simply “ knowledge is power ” => by knowing, we control Means more than simply “ knowledge is power ” => by knowing, we control In contemporary societies, power is exercised through discipline rather than repression In contemporary societies, power is exercised through discipline rather than repression It acts as a directing force that moves us towards pre-determined goals It acts as a directing force that moves us towards pre-determined goals The simulation of free will The simulation of free will

7 Power/knowledge Rather than being universal, power is fluid and changes based on the situation Rather than being universal, power is fluid and changes based on the situation Moments of power are based on circumstantial knowledge Moments of power are based on circumstantial knowledge “false consciousness” – knowledge creates docile subjects; premised off of the idea that knowledge is a sufficient measure of value “false consciousness” – knowledge creates docile subjects; premised off of the idea that knowledge is a sufficient measure of value

8 Why did you come to class today? Why did you come to class today? Why are you taking this class at all? Why are you taking this class at all?

9 Disciplinary Power The Subjected body Liberal Democracy The Citizen with Political “Rights” Scientific Knowledge The Human (Research) Subject and “Expertise” Industrial Capitalism The Productive Participation in the System

10 Why did disciplinary society emerge? An increase in the size and mobility of populations An increase in the size and mobility of populations Growth of economic production, which was becoming more costly and demanded increased profits Growth of economic production, which was becoming more costly and demanded increased profits Need for more effective means of controlling individuals -- Old forms were no longer enough. Need for more effective means of controlling individuals -- Old forms were no longer enough.

11 Disciplinary Power We live in a world crisscrossed with instruments of power/knowledge; no one possesses these, but they shape all of us in ways that induce conformity We are produced by a system of expectations or learned behavior; we replicate it; it is not external to us For power to work effectively, it should work through us rather than upon us; otherwise, we will recognize the power and reject it

12 Disciplinary Power EffectiveIneffective

13 Indiscreet Methods of Control For Foucault and other theorists – it is unlikely that those in authority cannot always be there to supervise For Foucault and other theorists – it is unlikely that those in authority cannot always be there to supervise “Authority must be present without an authority figure” Jeremy Mog “Authority must be present without an authority figure” Jeremy Mog So how do they still maintain control when they are not there? So how do they still maintain control when they are not there? NORMALIZING JUDGEMENT NORMALIZING JUDGEMENT

14 Hierarchical observation Watching people provides a great way to control them Watching people provides a great way to control them Perfect disciplinary apparatus = single gaze sees everything constantly Perfect disciplinary apparatus = single gaze sees everything constantly “By means of such surveillance, disciplinary power became an ‘integrated’ system, linked from the inside to the economy and to the aims of the mechanism in which it was practiced. It was also organized as a multiple, automatic, and anonymous power; for although surveillance rests on individuals, its functioning is that of a network of relations from top to bottom, but also to a certain extent, from bottom to top and laterally. The power in the hierarchized surveillance of the disciplines is not possessed as a thing, or transferred as a property; it functions like a piece of machinery. And, although it is true that its pyramidal organization gives it a head, it is the apparatus as a whole that produces ‘power’ and distributes individuals in this permanent and continuous field.” “By means of such surveillance, disciplinary power became an ‘integrated’ system, linked from the inside to the economy and to the aims of the mechanism in which it was practiced. It was also organized as a multiple, automatic, and anonymous power; for although surveillance rests on individuals, its functioning is that of a network of relations from top to bottom, but also to a certain extent, from bottom to top and laterally. The power in the hierarchized surveillance of the disciplines is not possessed as a thing, or transferred as a property; it functions like a piece of machinery. And, although it is true that its pyramidal organization gives it a head, it is the apparatus as a whole that produces ‘power’ and distributes individuals in this permanent and continuous field.”

15 Hierarchical observation Disciplinary power is indiscreet (everywhere and always alert, affecting everyone) and discreet (functions permanently, largely in silence) Disciplinary power is indiscreet (everywhere and always alert, affecting everyone) and discreet (functions permanently, largely in silence) “Discipline makes possible the operation of a relational power that sustains itself by its own mechanism and which, for the spectacle of public events, substitutes the uninterrupted play of calculated gazes.” “Discipline makes possible the operation of a relational power that sustains itself by its own mechanism and which, for the spectacle of public events, substitutes the uninterrupted play of calculated gazes.”

16 Normalizing judgment Discipline and Punishment is taught through 3 key methods: 1. “At heart of all disciplinary systems functions a small penal mechanism.” workshop, school etc. subject to micro-penality of time, speech, activity, and the body workshop, school etc. subject to micro-penality of time, speech, activity, and the body whole series of subtle procedures used – everything might serve to punish and every departure from correct behavior might be punished whole series of subtle procedures used – everything might serve to punish and every departure from correct behavior might be punished

17 Normalizing judgment 2. punishment (disciplinary power) is only one element of double system: gratification- punishment this 2-element mechanism makes possible definition of behavior, performance on basis of 2 opposed values of good/evil this 2-element mechanism makes possible definition of behavior, performance on basis of 2 opposed values of good/evil all behavior falls in field between good pole and bad pole, so it is possible to quantify field, obtain punitive balance-sheet of each individual  can hierarchize ‘good’ and ‘bad’ subjects in relation to one another  differentiation not of acts, but of individuals all behavior falls in field between good pole and bad pole, so it is possible to quantify field, obtain punitive balance-sheet of each individual  can hierarchize ‘good’ and ‘bad’ subjects in relation to one another  differentiation not of acts, but of individuals

18 Normalizing judgment 5. distribution according to ranks: marks gaps and also punishes/rewards rank in itself is a reward (or punishment) rank in itself is a reward (or punishment) double effect: distributes individuals according to aptitude or conduct; exercises pressure to conform to same model double effect: distributes individuals according to aptitude or conduct; exercises pressure to conform to same model traces the external frontier of the abnormal traces the external frontier of the abnormal “the perpetual penality that traverses all points and supervises every instant in the disciplinary institutions compares, differentiates, hierarchizes, homogenizes, excludes. In short it normalizes.” “the perpetual penality that traverses all points and supervises every instant in the disciplinary institutions compares, differentiates, hierarchizes, homogenizes, excludes. In short it normalizes.”

19 The Panopticon

20 DUNGEONPANOPTICON

21 The Panopticon “They are like so many cages, so many small theatres, in which each actor is alone, perfectly individualized and constantly visible… Visibility is a trap” (209).

22 Effects of Panoptic Power… Panopticon reverses the principle of the dungeon Panopticon reverses the principle of the dungeon Dungeon – limited surveillance; prisoners can plot Dungeon – limited surveillance; prisoners can plot Panopticon – constant surveillance; prisoners are isolated Panopticon – constant surveillance; prisoners are isolated Crowd vs. “collection of separated individualities” Crowd vs. “collection of separated individualities” Guardians can number, document, and supervise the individuals Guardians can number, document, and supervise the individuals Inmates are sequestered and alone – can’t see each other, and can’t band together Inmates are sequestered and alone – can’t see each other, and can’t band together Visible and Unverifiable Visible and Unverifiable Visible: The inmate constantly sees the panopticon, the instrument of power Visible: The inmate constantly sees the panopticon, the instrument of power Unverifiable: The inmate does not know when they are being watched Unverifiable: The inmate does not know when they are being watched “Disindividualizes” power: “Power has its principle not so much in a person as in a certain concerted distribution of bodies… It does not matter who exercises power” [power is depersonalized, automated] “Disindividualizes” power: “Power has its principle not so much in a person as in a certain concerted distribution of bodies… It does not matter who exercises power” [power is depersonalized, automated]

23 The panopticon individual is seen, but does not see individual is seen, but does not see Visibility serves a key role in discipline Visibility serves a key role in discipline the perfection of power renders its actual exercise (force) unnecessary the perfection of power renders its actual exercise (force) unnecessary Language acts as a means to control / influence behavior Language acts as a means to control / influence behavior It makes active practitioners (police / teachers) unnecessary It makes active practitioners (police / teachers) unnecessary “the ceremonies, the rituals, the marks by which a sovereign’s surplus power was manifested are useless. There is a machinery that assures dissymmetry, disequilibrium, difference. Consequently, it does not matter who exercises power.” “the ceremonies, the rituals, the marks by which a sovereign’s surplus power was manifested are useless. There is a machinery that assures dissymmetry, disequilibrium, difference. Consequently, it does not matter who exercises power.” “he who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; he makes them play spontaneously upon himself; he inscribes in himself the power relation in which he simultaneously plays both roles; he becomes the principle of his own subjection.” “he who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; he makes them play spontaneously upon himself; he inscribes in himself the power relation in which he simultaneously plays both roles; he becomes the principle of his own subjection.”

24 We are objects of surveillance… The foundations of the criticism is the normalizing function of repression The foundations of the criticism is the normalizing function of repression Moving disciplinary power from the penitentiary to the street Moving disciplinary power from the penitentiary to the street Use of security cameras Use of security cameras “dummy cameras” “dummy cameras”

25 And subjects of surveillance Its purpose is to make it so that every individual is simultaneously the watcher and being watched at the same time Its purpose is to make it so that every individual is simultaneously the watcher and being watched at the same time “plain clothes cops” “the informed citizen”

26 We all live in the panopticon! panopticon therefore becomes “great and new instrument of government”, applicable to other institutions outside penitentiary panopticon therefore becomes “great and new instrument of government”, applicable to other institutions outside penitentiary The penitentiary becomes a model for the ways that power regulates the behavior of individuals The penitentiary becomes a model for the ways that power regulates the behavior of individuals Relationship between parents and children Relationship between parents and children Relationship between citizens and police Relationship between citizens and police Religion Religion Stop lights Stop lights

27 The Subtlety of Power Disciplinary power is subtle form of control Disciplinary power is subtle form of control We make choices without knowing that we are making the choice We make choices without knowing that we are making the choice The function is so engrained in our routine that it is a pre-conscience decision The function is so engrained in our routine that it is a pre-conscience decision Foucault's argument is that disciplinary power (the panopticon) becomes so normal that we do not even realize that our choices are controlled Foucault's argument is that disciplinary power (the panopticon) becomes so normal that we do not even realize that our choices are controlled

28 The Stop Light and Traffic

29 Is Panopticism Always Bad? “Panopticon… [is] intended to make [power] more economic and more effective, it does so not for power itself, nor for the immediate salvation of a threatened society: its aim is to strengthen the social forces – to increase production, to develop the economy, spread education, raise the level of public morality; to increase and multiply.” “Panopticon… [is] intended to make [power] more economic and more effective, it does so not for power itself, nor for the immediate salvation of a threatened society: its aim is to strengthen the social forces – to increase production, to develop the economy, spread education, raise the level of public morality; to increase and multiply.”

30 Positive Examples Customary regulations, habits, health, reproductive practices, family, “blood”, and “well-being” would be straightforward examples of biopower, as would any conception of the state as a “body” and the use of state power as essential to its “life”. Customary regulations, habits, health, reproductive practices, family, “blood”, and “well-being” would be straightforward examples of biopower, as would any conception of the state as a “body” and the use of state power as essential to its “life”. Vaccinations and Health Vaccinations and Health Food production Food production

31 Panopticism in the Parent Child Relationship Santa Claus is Coming to Town Lyrics: “ He sees you when your sleeping, he knows when you ’ re wake, he knows if you ’ ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake. You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I ’ m telling you why; Santa Claus is coming to town. ”

32 The Hidden Meaning : “ He sees you when your sleeping, he knows when you ’ re wake, he knows if you ’ ve been bad or good ” This song signifies Santa ’ s omniscient abilities This song signifies Santa ’ s omniscient abilities “ You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I ’ m telling you why ” It controls children ’ s behavior through fear of not getting gifts It controls children ’ s behavior through fear of not getting gifts

33 Religion Societal necessity Societal necessity Teaches people to be good to one another Teaches people to be good to one another Necessary as a form of maintaining order in developing civilizations. Necessary as a form of maintaining order in developing civilizations. Does so by controlling the thoughts and actions of individuals Does so by controlling the thoughts and actions of individuals Sins Sins Indecent thoughts Indecent thoughts Acts of violence Acts of violence Not following the teachings Not following the teachings Committing Sins will lead to eternal Damnation Committing Sins will lead to eternal Damnation Religion can be manipulated to be a form of control to get individuals to follow as set of given rules and guidelines by fear of punishment. Religion can be manipulated to be a form of control to get individuals to follow as set of given rules and guidelines by fear of punishment.

34 The Nazi Party The Nazi Party Started a “ Boy Scout ” type organization called the “ Hitlerjugend ” (Hitler Youth) Started a “ Boy Scout ” type organization called the “ Hitlerjugend ” (Hitler Youth) Like scouts, the hitlerjugend, had weekly meetings teaching them survival basics. Part of their survival they were taught depended on the strength of their country men and women. Like scouts, the hitlerjugend, had weekly meetings teaching them survival basics. Part of their survival they were taught depended on the strength of their country men and women. Speaking out against the government or disobeying the law weakened the country Speaking out against the government or disobeying the law weakened the country The hitlerjugend were instructed to report any and all individuals including family members to their leader. The hitlerjugend were instructed to report any and all individuals including family members to their leader. These violators were then arrested. These violators were then arrested. Hitlerjugend Boy Scout

35 Who ’ s Watching You? Your children Your children Would you believe that this current school program is modeled after the Nazi ’ s monitoring system? Would you believe that this current school program is modeled after the Nazi ’ s monitoring system?

36 Children Report on Family Members The DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program The DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program Designed to teach kids the dangers of drugs Designed to teach kids the dangers of drugs Encourages Kids to report any and all illegal activity to the Police Encourages Kids to report any and all illegal activity to the Police Flips positions of power between the parents and kids Flips positions of power between the parents and kids Become an extension of the police into households Become an extension of the police into households

37 Discipline Definition of discipline: Definition of discipline: “‘Discipline’ may be identified neither with an institution nor with an apparatus; it is a type of power, a modality for its exercise, comprising a whole set of instruments, techniques, procedures, levels of application, targets; it is a ‘physics’ or an ‘anatomy’ of power, a technology.” Power is a “network of relations, constantly in tension, in activity, rather than a privilege that one might possess; one should take as its model a perpetual battle… this power is exercised rather than possessed; it is not the ‘privilege’ of the dominant class, but the overall effect of its strategic positions – an effect that is manifested and sometimes extended by the position of those who are dominated.” Power is a “network of relations, constantly in tension, in activity, rather than a privilege that one might possess; one should take as its model a perpetual battle… this power is exercised rather than possessed; it is not the ‘privilege’ of the dominant class, but the overall effect of its strategic positions – an effect that is manifested and sometimes extended by the position of those who are dominated.”

38 Discipline through Technology Technology offers a disciplinary role Technology offers a disciplinary role yc yc yc yc

39 Demonstration of Discipline through film Several films have attacked the concept of disciplinary role of society Several films have attacked the concept of disciplinary role of society Pleasantville Pleasantville V for Vendetta V for Vendetta Gattaca Gattaca Eagle Eye Eagle Eye

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41 The Truman Show Directed by Peter Weir Directed by Peter Weir Writer: Andrew Niccol Writer: Andrew Niccol Starring: Jim Carrey Starring: Jim Carrey Premiered June 5, 1998 Premiered June 5, 1998

42 The Truman Show Synopsis Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is an insurance salesman leading an idyllic, peaceful life on Seahaven Island. Truman also happens to be the star of the most popular live show in television history. The only problem is, he has no idea. Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is an insurance salesman leading an idyllic, peaceful life on Seahaven Island. Truman also happens to be the star of the most popular live show in television history. The only problem is, he has no idea. The entire island of Seahaven is revealed to be a complete fabrication; a massive set surrounded by a protective dome that produces the most sophisticated effects and imagery to mimic the sky, weather, and temperature of the real world. The entire island of Seahaven is revealed to be a complete fabrication; a massive set surrounded by a protective dome that produces the most sophisticated effects and imagery to mimic the sky, weather, and temperature of the real world.

43 Its moment in time The movie was released during a time when America was becoming increasingly tuned in to reality television The movie was released during a time when America was becoming increasingly tuned in to reality television It is much cheaper for companies It is much cheaper for companies It becomes a simulation of lived experience – creates a higher level of empathy between the audience and characters because they are real It becomes a simulation of lived experience – creates a higher level of empathy between the audience and characters because they are real Events are simultaneously spontaneous and staged Events are simultaneously spontaneous and staged

44 The Truman Show Synopsis The Truman Show (1998) is a film which charts the life of Truman Burbank, a boy adopted at birth by a fictitious television company - Omnicom. The Truman Show (1998) is a film which charts the life of Truman Burbank, a boy adopted at birth by a fictitious television company - Omnicom. He is filmed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year so every second of his life is recorded for ‘live’ television. He is filmed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year so every second of his life is recorded for ‘live’ television. Truman doesn’t know this. He doesn’t know that his friends and family are all actors. Truman doesn’t know this. He doesn’t know that his friends and family are all actors. He doesn’t know that the events in his life are all carefully monitored and controlled by the production crew of the television network. He doesn’t know that the events in his life are all carefully monitored and controlled by the production crew of the television network. He doesn’t know he is the star of a television show nor that he isn’t living in the real world. He doesn’t know he is the star of a television show nor that he isn’t living in the real world. Peter Weir, the director, commented that he thought of the film as taking place twenty years or so in the future. Peter Weir, the director, commented that he thought of the film as taking place twenty years or so in the future. However, in the search for new scheduling ideas and greater audience figures, television networks become increasingly involved in filming the lives of ordinary people as television entertainment with the launch of Big Brother only two years after the release of the film. However, in the search for new scheduling ideas and greater audience figures, television networks become increasingly involved in filming the lives of ordinary people as television entertainment with the launch of Big Brother only two years after the release of the film.

45 The Truman Show Discuss Having read this do you want to see the film? What is it particularly that interests you? Having read this do you want to see the film? What is it particularly that interests you? Do you agree with the concept of ‘The Truman Show’ and reality television shows in general? What moral and ethical problems do you see with making a programme of this nature? Do you agree with the concept of ‘The Truman Show’ and reality television shows in general? What moral and ethical problems do you see with making a programme of this nature? What practical problems might there be? What practical problems might there be? Why do you think reality styled television has remained so popular over the years? Why do you think reality styled television has remained so popular over the years?

46 Things to pay attention to… Do they accept or reject Truman’s desire to escape the set? Do they accept or reject Truman’s desire to escape the set? The role of the audience The role of the audience The role of the production staff The role of the production staff The role of the other characters The role of the other characters Do you think the audience in the film represents an actual audience? Do you think the audience in the film represents an actual audience?


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