This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Michel Foucault Essay

771 words - 3 pages

Foucault, Michel (1926-1984), French philosopher, who attempted to show that the basic ideas which people normally take to be permanent truths about human nature and society change in the course of history. His studies challenged the influence of German political philosopher Karl Marx and Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Foucault offered new concepts that challenged people's assumptions about prisons, the police, insurance, care of the mentally ill, gay rights, and welfare.He sees himself as a transdiscursive author: this term identifies an author (like Foucault) as not just the author of a book, but the author of a theory, tradition, or discipline.Foucault has influenced various fields like the study of subjectivity, power, knowledge, discourse, history, sexuality, madness, and the penal system. He is considered as a great influence in new historicism because its not just literature being studied, but the discourse of power, knowledge, sexuality, discipline, different social, political, and cultural practices.Foucault looks at various topics as discourses: ways of constituting knowledge, together with social practices, forms of subjectivity and the power relations which inhere in such knowledges, and the relations between them.Example: the discourse of language is not looked at as the linguistic codes that generate a set of statements , rather it deals with rules that govern the practice of language, who is entitled to speak , and how language prohibits some and marginalize others . These rules are not mysteriously imbedded deep in the discourse , but are to be found by looking at the contexts and institutions in which discourse is spoken , such as hospitals and asylums or professions and disciplines. " (Foucault As An Author , p10)Language can be used to classify people (sometimes permanently) with some socially charged labels: criminals, terrorists, communists, gays, insane, etc. This is how power is practiced in this discourse. Therefore language is an exchange of power between a label and the labeled (like signifier and signified).However, unlike Saussure's structuralism, there is no universal "truth" or model for language; in Foucault's point of view, the power relation in these different discourses are always in a state of changing history, a temporary thing with no final truth/knowledge to be discovered.Example: Foucault shows how the discourse of language on homosexuality shifted from describing a practice to describing a...

Find Another Essay On Michel Foucault

Michel foucault and the cultiv Essay

1780 words - 7 pages Michel Foucault: The Cultivation of the SelfMichel Foucault (1926-1984) spent much of the later part of his studies on the idea of the care of the self and cultivation of the self. He defined such care as using one's own reason to ascertain who one is and how he can be his best. Foucault takes several perspectives on this theme, from medical to phenomenological, to develop his focus on finding out who one is, the goal of the care of the self

Michel Foucault, Panopticism and Facebook Essay

1423 words - 6 pages likes and dislikes, where you are from, colleges attended, pictures with you at every stage, and even where you are right now. Think about the new Timeline design: you have provided Facebook with all the information needed to map out your own life from birth to where you are now. Let’s take a look at Michel Foucault’s insights on Panopticism and you might think twice about who really has the power on this social network and if you are a Facebook

Panopticism an Essay Written by Michel Foucault

1491 words - 6 pages , the subject might act accordingly to whomever or whatever they are subject to. In Michel Foucault‘s essay, Panopticism, he argues that the structure of the Panopticon is similar to the power structure of our society and ultimately, it falls under the concept of subjectivity. The Panopticon is a prison design that is made up of a large room, surrounded by cells for prisoners. There is a tower in the center that allows a guard to watch the

The Politics of Truth an Essay by Michel Foucault

1158 words - 5 pages In the essay “The Politics of Truth”, Michel Foucault examines what critique is. Foucault begins his explanation of critique by relating it to Immanuel Kant’s definition of enlightenment. In the essay “What is Enlightenment” Kant argues that society has developed an “immaturity” that relies on the direction of authority. Kant states “If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my

Analysis of In Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault

623 words - 2 pages Analysis of In Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault In Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault discuses the history of insanity in Europe from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. He begins his analysis with the treatment of the lepers and criminals concluding with the treatment of the insane. As “madness” became part of everyday life, people of the time were though to be threatened by “madness”. This sense of threat resulted in

"My father worked at ford. He hated it – it was just like school or prison." Discuss the above statement focusing on the ideas of Michel Foucault

1208 words - 5 pages circles, an outer circle (where the prisoners cells are situated) and an inner circle (where the officers can sit and view the prisoners without being seen). Michel Foucault took the basic skeleton of the panoptical design and went on to describe how people would behave themselves if they thought they were being watched (self policing). Because the prisoner couldn't see who was watching them or when they were being watched, the best strategy to

Foucault, Michel: Verteidigung der Gesellschaft. Vorlesung am Collège de France

1234 words - 5 pages ? Welche 2 Machttechnologien gibt es? Wann finden sie historisch ihren Anfang? Was ist die Biopolitik? Sexualität Von welcher speziellen Form von Rassismus spricht Foucault in diesem Text?I. Die Macht des Souveräns über Leben und Tod:"Das der Souverän das Recht über Leben und Tod innehat, bedeutet im Grunde, dass er sterben machen und leben lassen kann; in jedem Fall sind Leben und Tod keine

Discuss the way in which power relations are rooted in the whole social - Philosophy, politics and ethics - essay

1606 words - 7 pages universal relation of power to the social, but only in a secular domain, whereas, for Foucault, power transcends every relation. [1: Gutting, Gary, "Michel Foucault", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta?(ed.), URL = .] [2: Miller, S. ?Foucault on Discourse and Power?, Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political TheoryNo. 76, The Meaning of 1989

Bird’s Eye- view of Foucauldian Perspective to Commercial Hierarchies and Confrontation

1706 words - 7 pages Michel Foucault was a French philosopher or a historian of systems of thought. His theories addressed the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions. Through his impressive career Foucault became known for his many demonstrative arguments that power depends not on material relations or authority but instead primarily on discursive networks. The sole purpose of the

Evaluation of the Usefulness of Selected Examples of Foucault's Theory

1314 words - 5 pages Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, New York: Pantheon Foucault, M. (1981) ‘The Order of Discourse: 1970 Inaugural Lecture at the College de France,’ in Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader, London: Routledge Foucault, M. (1982) Truth, Power, Self: An Interview with Michel Foucault [online] http://www.naturalthinker.net/trl/texts/Foucault,Michel/Foucault,%20Michel%20-%20Truth,%20Power,%20Self.pdf [accessed 26/03

Compare Foucault’s Treatment of the Insane with that of Goffman’s on Asylums

1654 words - 7 pages When reading the works of both Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman, together they give a delineation of the discourse of madness. This essay delves into both of these renowned sociologists, in an attempt to explore both Michel Foucault’s finding on the treatment of the insane and Erving Goffman’s work on asylums. It begins with a very deep and archival aspect on Foucault’s part; where close attention was paid to the evolution of language, words

Similar Essays

Michel Foucault Essay

1787 words - 7 pages Michel FoucaultMichel Foucault, generally in his philosophy, has created a system wherein heexamines the relations of power as they are transmuted down in a society (not onethat it is held by individuals-and, indeed, it is not so perpetuated), wherein therefinement of discourse over time allows for the normalization of behaviors and then thatindividuals are encouraged, as docile bodies, to adhere to this program of normalization.Foucault locates

Paul Michel Foucault: A Philosophist Essay

1275 words - 6 pages Michel Foucault his full name was Paul-Michel Foucault, was born October 15, 1926, Poitiers France—died June 25, 1984, Paris. He the grandson of a physician.You could say that he was born into a solidly bourgeois family, Also his father was a doctor so you can see that being intelligent runs in the family, his mother was just any ordinary housewife Foucault’s mother, Anne, was likewise the daughter of a surgeon, and had longed to follow a

Michel Foucault: Power And Identity Essay

2453 words - 10 pages Introduction Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman’s work was centralised around there two different concepts of how your identity is formed through the process of power and expert knowledge. This Essay will discuss the ideas of Michel Foucault who was a French Social Theorist. His theories addressed the relationship between power and knowledge and how both of these are used as a form of social control through society. The essay will look at

Michel Foucault And The Cultiv Essay

1780 words - 7 pages Michel Foucault: The Cultivation of the SelfMichel Foucault (1926-1984) spent much of the later part of his studies on the idea of the care of the self and cultivation of the self. He defined such care as using one's own reason to ascertain who one is and how he can be his best. Foucault takes several perspectives on this theme, from medical to phenomenological, to develop his focus on finding out who one is, the goal of the care of the self