Presentation on theme: "M. Foucault ‘Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison’ Part 4 - Prison."— Presentation transcript:
M. Foucault ‘Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison’ Part 4 - Prison
Introduction Previous theory on the emergence of and social function of prisons suggest their existence shows high levels of societal development. Foucault’s view was that prisons were almost as bad: “The shift from a criminality of blood to a criminality of fraud” Foucault’s link between prison and other institutions in society
Background and Structure ‘Discipline & Punish’ published in 1975, one of Foucault’s best known works Structure of the book, Four main parts, chapters in each *PART ONE – TORTURE *PART TWO – PUNISHMENT *PART THREE – DISCIPLINE *PART FOUR – PRISON (which I will focus on)
‘Guidelines for Study’ Foucault establishes four main guidelines which he intends to follow in the rest of his work 1) “Regard punishment as a complex social function” 2) “Regard punishment as a political tactic” 3)“Find link between the history of penal law and the human sciences” 4)“Find link between the entry of the soul into the penal justice scene and how the body is invested by power relations”
‘Complete & Austere Institutions’ In this chapter Foucault looks at the early stages of the prison system and the roles that it was meant to play. These were: ISOLATION WORK THE DECLARATION OF CARCEAL INDEPENDENCE
‘Illegalities & Delinquency’ In this chapter Foucault goes into more detail in his criticism of penal detention stating 5 main critiques. He believes prison can be worthwhile and comes up with seven universal maxims of ‘good penitential condition’. He goes on to argue how the prison system ends up creating an ‘economy of illegalities’.
‘The Carceral’ The ‘Carceral System’ is a group of institutions including prison that act as disciplinary mechanisms throughout society. Foucault dates the beginning of this system to the opening of the Mettray in 1840. The carceral system “succeeds in making the power to punish natural and legitimate”.
Overview of Foucault’s argument Prisons are part of network of disciplinary institutions that regulate our behaviour. Whilst they were conceived as a sophisticated form of punishment they have a number of different failings which mean they do not fulfil their aims. Prisons role in maintaining existing power relations - maintaining the political order.
Critical Assessment Foucault offers a unique take on many aspects of prison particularly through his idea of the existence of ‘the carceral system’. A criticism of Foucault is that he focuses too much on the idea of “Prison as a form of control” (Garland) Weaknesses in the political aspect of his theories However overall ‘Discipline & Punish’ of great importance – argues the paradoxical view
Bibliogrpahy ‘Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison’ by Michel Foucault (1977) ‘Foucault: A Critical Reader’ ed. David Couzens Hoy (1986) ‘Michel Foucault’ by Clare O’Farrell (2005) ‘Foucault’s “Discipline & Punish” An Exposition and Critique’ by David Garland (1979)