Re: The Object of Discipline

> I am currently reading Discipline and Punish and I need a little
> clarification. According to Foucault, "the art of punishing in the
> regime of disciplinary power is aimed neither at expiation, nor even
> precisely at repression." Then what, according to Foucault, does
> disciplinary punishment aim to do?
> Thank You
> William Bock

The aim of such punishment is to "transform" human beings into individuals
who are more efficient, docile, obedient, rational, normal, moral. It is
designed to
produce mentalities that are more open to obeying orders, better able to
act as efficient workers, soldiers, etc, more normal and predictable
in their behaviors. Foucualt states that the prison, at its origin, had in mind
nothing less than the completele transformation/rehabilitation of the prisoner from an
individual with a criminal mentality( A criminal) to a more normalized, behaved and moral human being (a well -adjusted citizen).Such power, says Foucault
found itself in every aspect of liberal society, that is, everywhere where the
aim, for whatever specific reasons, is to produce more docile, obedient,
efficient, rational, normal individuals. It is not mainly repression (the
distortion of a pre-existing consciousness), but production (the creation
of disciplined subjects), that is at work here. That is, the stripping of
all that is truly 'individual', in the name of reason, progress, humanity
(liberal terms to justify its pervasive project of subjectification).

Greg Coolidge
Univ. of Calif., Riverside

The Object of Discipline, william vernon bock
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