Eric Steere's Reviews > Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault
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May 29, 12


Foucault criticizes institutional classification via the prison and hospital in linking these to seemingly more benign institutions such as the school and factory. These systems of hierarchical social control come under attack. In this volume, he extends the concept of panopticon, a way in which subjects are felt to be under constant surveillance through the dividing practices of these institutions. This is as voracious a concept as Lacan's concept of the superego that comes to bear in all facets of time-space distantiation, and thus the disjunctures of the self in guidance with strict adherence to the conformity of societal norms and expectations.
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