Discipline and Punish: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Discipline and Punish

1st Edition

By Meghan Kallman, Rachele Dini

Macat Library

106 pages

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Description

Michel Foucault is famous as one of the 20th-century’s most innovative thinkers – and his work on Discipline and Punish was so original and offered models so useful to other scholars that the book now ranks among the most influential academic works ever published.

Foucault’s aim is to trace the way in which incarceration was transformed between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries. What started as a spectacle, in which ritual punishments were focused on the prisoner’s body, eventually became a matter of the private disciplining of a delinquent soul.

Foucault’s work is renowned for its original insights, and Discipline and Punish contains several of his most compelling observations. Much of the focus of the book is on making new connections between knowledge and power, leading Foucault to sketch out a new interpretation of the relationship between voir, savoir and pouvoir – or, ‘to see is to know is to have power.’ Foucault also dwells in fascinating detail on the true implications of a uniquely creative solution to the problems generated by incarcerating large numbers of criminals in a confined space – Jeremy Bentham’s ‘panopticon,’ a prison constructed around a central tower from which hidden guards might – or might not – be monitoring any given prisoner at any given time. As Foucualt points out, the panopticon creates a prison in which inmates will discipline themselves, for fear of punishment, even when there are no guards present. He goes on to apply this insight to the manner in which all of us behave in the outside world – a world in which CCTV and speed cameras are explicitly designed to modify our behavior.

Foucault’s highly original vision of prisons also ties them to broader structures of power, allowing him to argue that all previous conceptions of prison are misleading, even wrong. For Foucault, the ultimate purpose of incarceration is neither to punish inmates, nor to reduce crime. It is to produce delinquency as a way of enabling the state to control and of structure crime.

Table of Contents

Ways in to the text Who was Michel Foucault? What doesDiscipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison say? Why does Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison matter? Section 1: Influences Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context Module 2: Academic Context Module 3: The Problem Module 4: The Author's Contribution Section 2: Ideas Module 5: Main Ideas Module 6: Secondary Ideas Module 7: Achievement Module 8: Place in the Author's Work Section 3: Impact Module 9: The First Responses Module 10: The Evolving Debate Module 11: Impact and Influence Today Module 12: Where Next? Glossary of Terms People Mentioned in the Text Works Cited

About the Authors

Dr Meghan Kallman is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Brown University, working in the Department of Sociology. Her research focuses on bureaucratized morality and public altruism. In her spare time, she plays accordion in the Extraordinary Rendition Band, a guerilla activist collective in Providence, RI.

Dr Rachele Dini studied at Cambridge, King’s College London and University College London. Much of her current work focuses on the representation of production and consumption in modern and contemporary Anglo-American fiction. She teaches at Cambridge and for the Foundation for International Education, and her first monograph, Consumerism, Waste and Re-use in Twentieth-century Fiction: Legacies of the Avant-Garde, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016.

About the Series

The Macat Library

Great Works for Critical Thinking

Making the ideas of the world’s great thinkers accessible, affordable, and comprehensible to everybody, everywhere. 

With a growing list of over 180 titles across a broad range of subject areas, Macat works with leading academics from the world’s top universities to produce new analyses that focus on the ideas and the impact of the most influential works ever written. By setting them in context – and looking at the influences that shaped their authors, as well as the responses they provoked – Macat encourages readers to look at these classics and game-changers with fresh eyes.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General