SOSC 2350 Note 13
- The assignment will be given to us by Sunday
- We live in a society in which power is exercised in very pervasive but
o This is a subjective insight.
o An example of model of this (Panopticon) is a metaphor of how
surveillance works in society
o Other ways of surveillance:
CPIC system and criminal records
Traffic Control System
Census: this is a pamphlet containing numerous questions that
is documented and regulated.
This is for the pattern of demographics
SIN Cards and health cards
- Other systems of surveillance and discipline:
o Any system which includes and connects us through numbers
(telephone, PC, student no., banking system, user acc. no., the school’s
o Discourse: as a system of surveillance and discipline:
This is an information through conversation of practices
The point is that all of this information is incredibly pervasive
Foucault argues that disciplinary power takes more
technologically sophisticated forms such as barcodes,
monitored phone calls, and electronic security cameras
o Scientific discourses produce “truths” that then later on function as a
What is a normal weight? Normal blood pressure? What is
On top of norms, consider subjectivity: it operates on
constantly modifying our behaviour to the norm
We have a pathological need to fit in
Norms also reduce individualism. There’s a
Individuality has been reduced to a common measure.
- Foucault claims that disciplinary power is essentially a new, modern,
o Unlike juridical power it doesn’t utilize or mutilate your body. It has
no immediate effect.
Instead, it’s working on your “soul” and mind. It’s shaping the
subjectivity in a very detailed way
o Consider the prison and the correctional system (to reset things or the
soul into a type of obedience by introducing certain new habits) There’s more of a carceral situation that happens with non-
o Power can be gained through surveillance and through the threat of
The Panopticon (including the law, family operate) and this
happen in the sense that the guard can see all the inmates, but
the inmates don’t see them.
Like the inmates of the Panopticon, kids don’t know when their
mothers are watching them, and therefore they always behave
because they’re under constant watch.
- Consider a Hospital:
o Hospital as a regime of health supported by various institutions
Hospital: spatial arrangement: waiting room clinic
Very similar to the prison
Ideological control: the poster, pamphlets
There are all kinds of information about washing your
hands, trying to do different things differently; there is
no prominence of authority.
Pharmacy, insurance co., etc.
- Consider the educational system: it’s for the purpose of production of
o In the past there were inspectors
o Evaluation and reports
There are always exams
o Is this a bad thing? No, it helps produce knowledge – but of certain
o Ate you producing knowledge, which is meaningful for yourself as
Juridical Power v. Disciplinary Power
- These are two different types of power
- Disciplinary power intensifies as well as represses power. This operates by
discouraging an undisciplined action, but at the same time encourages a
disciplined action. Through repetition you eventually become organized
- Juridical power (the law) it controls by denying.
- Disciplinary power has effects (very powerful), but it is still very different
such as benign effects
- Discipline Intensifies as well as Repress
o It encourages discipline and discourages undisciplined
- Discipline Homogenizes through Activities
o This means that there’s disciplinary regimes that begins to evolve in
- Discipline Acts in the Production of Subjects o With juridical power, the application is only to the particular person
who’s been ensnared in the law’s web.
o Disciplinary power produces a norm for people to follow. They’re not
just applying it to a group it applies to everyone.
o The point of this power is to produce particular kinds of subjects.
- Disciplinary Power is ideally Invisible in its Application
o This is very different from juridical power because that was the
manifestation of the state’s power at executions. There are visible
exercises of power
o Discipline power tries to cast light away from itself, and goes
specifically to control the individual.
- There is no absolute difference between the space of the law and the space of
freedom for discipline. There are no spaces where disciplinary power can
enter. It has this character of Perpetua finality.
- Whether we talk about the prison, asylum, etc. discipline isn’t only being
applied to the subjects who are in prison, but observation is taking place in
those institutions, and is then being applied in its walls to ALL subjects in
o They’re used to formulate norms for all of society.
o There’s also a mirroring effect taken place:
The discipline in schools also resulted people in disciplining
themselves in a similar way.
Johnny is having a hard time at school? Why isn’t he learning?
Maybe the family is failing by not reinforcing specific values of
This relationship can be reversed. Johnny is a problem
child at home; therefore the school is failing Johnny.
- Until the beginning of the 18 century, the way that the state and the law
exercised power remained the same. Disciplinary power was contained
within the spaces that juridical power left free.
o The tree is going to be able to escape any change
- Juridical power has to conform to specific legitimacy (jurisdiction of death
o There is very little debate between disciplinary technique.
Things to Remember
- Power shouldn’t necessarily be understood as rules + sanctions.
o Instead, Foucault shows that the liberal understanding of power no
o Consider Critical Race Theory: when it comes to understanding power
or punishment, the primary question was “what act should be
Foucault shows that power is involved in the construction of
lives of individuals
It’s not only preventative, it’s creative - Foucault claims that in modern disciplinary society, we have moved towards
compliance rather than punishment
o However, there are more compliances in law
o There is a growth of compliance (notion of self-policing)
- It’s important for the purpose of understanding CRT the notion of
normalization, subjectivity, and discourse.
Feminist Legal Theory
- What is feminism?
o Understanding it is crucial to understand misrepresentation
o It’s a group of political and social, philosophy about experiences and
status of women, and the inequalities of gender
- It seeks to expose and oppose the structures of discrimination and
oppression of women in society
- Large and diverse social movement
o Roots in struggles for women’s suffrage (right to vote) 1 wave
This was most actively in the UK, US, and Netherlands
It was a wide range of white, middle class women, conservative
Christian groups who were willing to work within the existing
There was a trial to persuade sympathetic men to promote
particular causes (suffrage)
They confronted particular stereotypes about women such as
claims of proper behaviour, demeanor
o 1960s civil rights movement: Women’s Liberation 2 wave nd
This emerges most strongly in the sense as post-war western
This is a time when people have been becoming more alerted
and awake to oppression
Blacks and gays were making similar claims, and 2 nd
wavers connected to waves
Whereas 1 wave only focused on the vote and overturning
legal obstacles to equality (voting, property rights, etc.)