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Day 6 Foucault 2 Term 2

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Western University
Sociology 2240E
Brendan Murphy

Day 6 of a handful Foucault Continued Discourse Review - There is a reality but it’s not important because we can never access it - Foucault understands and accepts that he is trapped in discourse o This discourse limits what we can say (Foucault included) Frankfurt School and other 20 Century Marxists - We’re dominated by ideologies we’ve made up - Emancipation: must free ourselves from said ideologies to be free Three Reasons Why the Notion of Ideology is Problematic or Difficult - First: when people claim to know the “greater good” or “what’s best” is to say that they have a general truth or reality which doesn’t really exist o The truth is contested  If something is contested then it is political  Therefore truth is political - Second: Ideology refers to something like a subject o He tried to push the problem of the subject o The subject is only an effect of power  A lot of his work is the charting of subjectivity and knowledge - Third: The economical angle o It implies that ideology is determined by economy o Economy is just one form of power relations  The power relations involved in things like gender, sexuality etc, can not be explained solely by economy o There was a mentality where people said get rid of economic inequality and everything’ll be dandy Take a look over Judith Butler’s thing in the course package - Read it all but focus more on the first seven pages Crime and Foucault - For starters: o Foucault doesn’t think we’ve progressed and that we’re more civilized now o He also doesn’t think that prisons are the best way to punish people Robert-Francois Damiens - Convicted and punished for a single offence o Didn’t matter if he had committed crime before o The sentence was based solely on the action not the person - The punishment is directed at the body alone - The punishment took place in a public square - No confession o Intention doesn’t matter o What’s important is that it doesn’t matter whether he confessed or not - Took place in March of 1757 Leon Faucher’s Rules for the House of Young Prisoners in Paris - Published 80 years after Damiens demise - This thing was a strict schedule for prisoners - What’s neat is the actions where the same o All focused around the body (when it awakes, eats, works, washes itself, learns, etc) - However, the aim was different o The target was to break the soul not the body o This is very 1984 Foucault is charting a new economy of punishment: - Punishment is no longer a public spectacle o The punishments were worse than the crimes o The punisher was looked upon negatively - The ‘slackening of the hold on the body’ o Punishment was shamed so they tried to make it more abstract and less abrasive to the body  Less shameful to treat someone like shit in prison  1984  think of the torture in that book in comparison to just killing the thought-criminals • If they were killed they’d be martyrs • Break the soul - It turn
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