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Michael Foucault's Different Forms Of Power

1320 words - 5 pages

Michael Foucault's Different Forms of Power

Michael Foucault distinguishes between two different and distinct forms of power, disciplinary and sovereign. Fouccault describes disciplinary power as the new type of power in the modern civilization. The use of disciplinary power transpired in the 17th and 18th century, and it used specific procedures such as distributing individuals into space, controls of activity, observation, judging, and examination, to regulate the people.
The first way to create discipline is to distribute individuals in space. This space is usually analytical and physical. Discipline demands enclose, so that you see everything that is going on. Inside of this enclosure there is a partitioning where each individual has his or her own place inside the space. Once the individuals are in the divided up space the spaces are made to be functional. Each separate space has some thing different to do that completes the whole. Each unit is divided up into rank, and this is where the analytical and the physical space mix. An example of this structure is in a hospital. In a hospital you part ion the units by floors, each nurse has a station on a separate floor. Then the different floors in the hospital are functional, there are some that deal specifically with cardiac units and there are some that only deal with pediatric units. Inside of the specialized units there are there are different needs for the patients, some need more care than the others and this is were they are ranked- from most life threatening to least.
The next part of discipline is being able to control activity. To do this you need to establish a pattern and have cycles of repetition. In order to have the desired repetition you need t completely breakdown the gestures and the manipulation of the tasks at hand. You need to define every detail of the task. We have something similar to this in gymnastics. We do and exhibition where everything need to be perfectly times and everyone’s movements in their tumbling needs to be the exact same. We break down the movements of the back handsprings and backs flips and learn how to do the special movements exactly the same as everyone else, so we look together. To be able to have our exhibitions be successful we need constant monitoring to see if we are with the music and with each other.
The next step to achieving discipline is through observation. This gives you power by simply observing visually seeing what is going on. In this you are under constant surveillance. By being put under this constant examination you are always being put to the test to see if you measure up to set standards. An example of this is the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. You are always under constant surveillance, even when you are not in uniform or performing. Even if you are not wearing anything associated with the organization, and are out going to the local 7-11 and you look bad, you can get in a lot of trouble. You are...

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