Punishment In Modern Society

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Foucault's View Punishment in Modern Society

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Foucault's View Punishment in Modern Society


In a society different kinds of people live together. Some of the people are good and some of the people are bad. Due to financial pressure and illiteracy some of the individuals of the society indulge in crimes. In order to make the society peaceful it is imperative to hold these people accountable for their deeds and should be given proper punishment according to the nature of the crime. One such punishment that is subject to controversies for so long is capital punishment. Our focus will be on explaining how and why Foucault criticises progressivity accounts of the emergence of the prison as the most severe form of punishment in modern societies


Michel Foucault (1925-1984) was a prominent philosopher of the second part of 20th century. His work shows a consistent deep based on the study of multilink between the constitution of knowledge, power relations and subjectivities process within the different historical periods based primarily on the text of 'Discipline' and 'Punishment'. Foucault attributed to his own work influences that included Max Weber. In turn, his legacy has shaped the contributions of innumerable social scientists, notable among them Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens, Nancy Fraser, and Edward Said. His intellectual presence felt throughout the social sciences, remains both particularly strong and controversial in the fields of cultural geography, discourse analysis, criminology, and the sociology of medicine.

Because Foucault was committed to demonstrating the manner in which the sciences are not abstracted academic pursuits, but rather important and unrecognized channels of power, his substantive and methodological projects are inextricably linked. Foucault's most significant methodological injunction is that meaning must be sought by examining evidence not simply qua evidence, but rather as composed of organic artefact laden with meaning beyond that explicitly stated by their authors. In the case of factual knowledge, we must be cognizant that history is a product as much of the present in which it is unearthed as the past that buried it. Meaning is revealed via an intricate process of what he initially termed archaeology but later came to be known as genealogy. “The idea of a legitimate authority of truth is debunked insofar as knowledge, and those who seek it, is simultaneously the objects and tools of power” (Shelby, 2007, pp. 160). This renders the concept of academic disciplines one in which scientists discipline and are in turn disciplined by the subjects of their inquiries.

In his early period, Foucault traced how, in the Western world, madness, which was once thought to be divinely inspired, came to be thought of as mental illness. He attempted to expose the creative force of madness that Western societies have traditionally repressed. In the last years of his life, Foucault questioned whether imprisonment is a more humane punishment than torture. He also traced the way in which people in Western societies have come to understand themselves as sexual beings, and he related how moral and ethical beliefs affect ...
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