The Effects Power Has Upon One’s Body

1604 words - 7 pages

There is a similarity between Bartky’s and Foucault’s notion of power and how it has an effect on one’s body. Whether it is from a disciplinary stand point or the views one has about the physical body itself. The connections between both philosophers provide insight to the concept of power being problematic. I will argue that when power is pushed to the extreme the participation of aggressive practices will occur. Starting with ones mental thoughts about their body, to the next of allowing themselves to alter and perform drastic measures being subjected to and from the discipline by conforming to the considered norm. allowing standards of patriarchy continue.
Power is through domination and having discipline sets one up to obtain power. It is the way individuals are suppressed to the construction of social norms. I agree with Foucault’s perception of the docile body. “The body as object and target of power…A body is docile that may be subjected, used, transformed and improved” (Foucault, 136). Society has the power have come to term with a type of ‘norm’ of a human beings body and how it is supposed to appear and if one does not fit the alternative it to simply alter ones appearance that’s considered normal. Having the body seen has an object allows it to be easily transformed or tested with to get as close as possible toward the considered conformity. With power comes control, a type of control can be discipline and the amount one obeys the rules. Having a disciplinary power is not a type of punishment but is a way of shaping and structuring oneself. Foucault argues “The human body was entering a machinery of power that explores it, breaks it down and rearranges it. A ‘political anatomy’, which was also a ‘mechanics of power’, was being born; it defined how one may have a hold over the others’ bodies, not only so that they may do what one wishes, but so that they may operate as one wishes, with the techniques, the speed and the efficiency that one determines. Thus discipline produces subjected and practised bodies, ‘docile’ bodies” (Foucault, 138). A person’s body is adaptable to the many changes available in the world that one wishes to endure themselves with. From the moment a person is born the social construction is evident to be presented. This construction is based upon the gender constructions, if born a female you were wrapped up in a pink blanket and males were wrapped in blue. As a person gets older the constructions further more to a gender binary and heteronormative society in regard to one’s body. Providing individuals with power allows the standard constructions to stay in effect and allows human beings to shape themselves by taking drastic measures to conform to the gender constructions especially towards the considered normal appearance. This is all subjected to and from discipline, in guidelines up to standard behaviours.
Bartky agrees with Foucault’s idea of docile bodies through the concept of discipline and power to the...

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