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Foucualt part 1.docx

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 2650
Anita Lam

January, 23, 2014 Foucault Part 1 Lecture overview 1) Brief Recap 2) Foucault and critical theory 3) Foucault vs. Marxists: Power 4) Power-knowledge 5) Discourse 1. Brief Recap • Mode of production in society *ways in wich we develop and produce material goods and society* 3 modes; capitalist socialist and communist • Capitalist mode of production: bourgeoisie*own means of the production; material tools that are needed to produce goods and services* vs. proletariat*do not own any means of production; only have their own means to sell* *these are the two basic classes*  Class structure; capitalist class: maximize profit and in order to do that, they need to exploit the working class; maximize their wages through unionizes.  Under Marxist one class and no class struggle • Instrumental Marxism; interest of certain people • Structural Marxism *deny that the law is the exclusive domain of the rich; does not always work for the rich against the poor; interests in the capitalist society* Marxist thought that it was aimed at supporting the capitalist system; the theories that came out of criminology were theories that supported the rich and oppressed the working class • Reflexive about what it means to do criminology  Theory is no longer innocent; it has consequences 2. Foucault • Interested in study the nature and study of systems and thought; historically conjoint ways • Critical theory *the conditions that make something possible* • Historical conditions that make the HUMAN SUBJECT possible *2 ways: as humans as political subjects (stay in power and do our civic duties); we also have a sense of ourselves (we have an identity and we have self-knowledge)* • Subjectification *how we make human subjects and how it’s possible?A: it takes a lot of work and this work is done through various strategies and techniques of power that range across institutions of power* • No deep truth about human nature • Problematizes concept of free will (vs. social contract theorist) *thinks free will is silly, because we can’t think of an individual apart from broader social forces; why not? On one hand rather social forces make us as a subject and on the other hand these broader social forces live inside of us and there is no possible way that us individuals are able to make decisions on our own.* Foucault on criminology • Investigates how the creation of criminology makes sense of the 1970’s prison systems. Says that without criminology there wouldn’t be a sense of the prison sense 3 main approaches to power  Power over *power over a person or another group of people; in a matter of quantity* • Quality: different forms of power have different effects *unequal power differential association; it also has a qualitative example e.g. sexual power Vs. economic power * • Effects of power are unpredictable *Sexual power: sexual charm; economic power: the route = you can be born into a wealthy family, you might conventionally get a education to get a career; that is not the same as sexual power*  Also have different effects: Foucault- effects of power are unpredictable  Power as quantity to be accumulated • Power as quantity to be accumulated *start talking about distributions of power in society*  Marxist conception of power *see it as power storage when they see it as wealth; wealth is a proxy of power and it is also a quantity because you can horde it and even save it* - Power is localized (e.g. state power) *we think that we can find power in a particular source or location; Marxist: in a capitalist society power is localized* • Vs. Foucault  Power is everywhere *cannot be localized to certain people or to see it as the sole domain of the state, instead its everywhere and it comes from everywhere because it comes from everywhere; every group in society will exercise power and be subject to it*  Power is a strategic relation *defined by the overall effect of its strategic positions; strategic relation and not a structure or something that is localized to a certain institution* Marx: Base-Structure Model Superstructure  Social institutions ideology Base (Mode of production)  social relations of production e.g., Bourgeoisie exploit proletariat   Means of production: factories, resources, tools, machines e.t.c Foucault on Power • Power is not a structure *it’s a relation between and among people and institutions; power is local and unstable* • Power is not a zero-sum game *a game when there are clear winners and clear losers; there is one outcome one wins and the others lose; Marxist see society as a zero-sum game; Foucault says power is not a zero-sum game because we cannot assume who is winning and who is losing; not an eternally fixed substance*  Power is fluid and dynamic *power will shift over time* • E.g. Link (YOUTUBE)  Look at the parent – child relationship  Power is a strategic relationship because the kid is exerting force on another person to do something  Another one is they compromise or neither one could benefit (Lose –Lose) • Who (Marxist interested in the WHO; who benefits if we have this structure) > how (Foucault interested in HOW; how does power work) • Power as a strategic relation: power than just power • Power is also an achievement and an end product 3. Power to do something that might othe
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