Chapter 6: Foucault
1. What is the difference between Foucauldian approach to punishment and Durkheimian/Marxist?
Focuses on technology of penal power and mode of operation. “penological rationalites”
F contradicts D. Discipline and Punish stresses on utilitarian nature of modern punishment, says
nothing about morals. F believes punishment is a system of power
F compliments M. both about power. F’s level of analysis is different from M. M looks at it from
the outside and F looks at internal. His analysis is specifically on penal techniques. Neglects
political context, social grounds and who and what directs use of punishment. Focuses on penal
control and determinants of change.
2. How do you understand the term ‘critical thinker’? (P. 133 – 134).
F had many studies on madness, sexuality, medicine. All are on modern world.
3. Why did Foucault juxtapose two different styles of punishment in the opening section of his book?
(P. 135 – 136).\
1) execution of a regicide (killing of king). Done at public square in front of many people.
Punishment here was shown through a ritual of horrible death, violence
2) institutional table. Sets out times of what prisoners should do. Punishment here is silent and
private. No ceremony, no violence
This was the style of punishment at the time. Shows punishment in modern and classical society.
He tries to understand how we switch from public punishment to private. It was a qualitative
change rather than quantity. Target is to aim at the soul than body
4. Why was the change in penal technology very important for the whole system of criminal justice?
This change shows change in character of justice itself. Prisons were introduced to understand
the prisoner, sources of crime and correct them. Focus of judgment shifts from offender himself,
now we also look at family, character and background. Introduces new experts (social workers,
psychiatrist). These changes offer offenders not punitive corrections but corrections. Power-
5. Why is the human body the ultimate material for Foucault and Nietzsche? (P. 137).
3 concepts to analyse fundamentals of structure domination: namely power, knowledge, body
Human body is shaped by political, economic and penal institutions. System of production of
domination requires successful subjugation of bodies. Require bodies to be mastered to training
to be obedient. Forced labour manages body from outside (physical).
Self-controlled body is what F calls “the soul”, directs behavior
Strategy of power makes contact between bodies of their subjects
micro-physics of power: where power reaches into every grain of individuals, touches their
bodies and inserts actions in their everyday life
6. What is the ‘power’ in Foucauldian sense? (P. 138 – 139).
Power does not thought of as the property of a particular class who own it.
Instead it is forms of domination with subordination (being controlled) and the balance of forces that
operate wherever social relations exist. It has no pattern because F thinks society as a multiplicity of
fields of forces, sometimes they are connected sometimes not.
Concern is always about the way power is organized and the structural relationships and techniques
rather than concrete politics and people involved.
Power is a pervasive (to be present throughout) aspect of social life, not limited to politics. And
thought of to be productive than repressive. Power operates through people instead of against
“Power-knowledge”. Relationship between power and body also involve knowledge. Requires you
to understand forces in terms of its strengths and weaknesses. The more you know, the more
controllable the object is to you. But one implication, “sciences of man”: must be thought of not as
intellectual development but as knowledge 7. Please compare Foucauldian ‘the spectacle of the scaffold’ to Durkheimian ritual of punishment.
F. traces to why use practice of public torture and why it was abandoned.
First, torture was used to force evidence out of accused. Ceremony of public punishment also
revealed to public what was going on in the process of investigation and shows the accused his
confession of justice. Because in Europe, investigations were a secret and even the accused may not
know that he is being investigated. F. believes this is wrong
Second, punishment acts as revenge. Shows display of strength and affirms power
8. What were the new types of illegalities that had changed penal policy in 18 century? (P. 141).
He describes how executions can sometimes degenerate into disorder, the crowd could end up
mocking authority and transform condemned man into hero. This disorder was said to be more
popular towards the end of century when more crowds revolt against injustice
There were also new types of criminal behavior that became more property oriented and
professional, hence more threatening. More factories created so more property were put at risk.
Capitalists brought stricter attitudes to middle class that were towards illegalities (ex: tax and rent
9. Please describe the