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Michael Foucault: power is productive

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  1. Language, knowledge and power
  2. Power and repression
  3. Confinement
  4. The soul
  5. Docility
  6. Bio-power

Since the beginning of time, power has been an issue in many different ways; how to gain it, how to keep it, how to destroy it. According to Michel Foucault, "power is productive". Power is what molds society into what is, and what it should be. Foucault believed that through repression, domination and control, power creates society. Power relations operate and exist through people. Through the use of institutions, such as school, work and family, power is able to mold us into who we are as a people.

[...] With these words, Foucault illustrates how this ?police matter' is something that must be handled by control and domination. Confinement edicts were aimed at the enormous amount of unemployed beggars, who were rejected and mobilized by the new economic developments. Confinement was one of the answers the seventeenth century gave to the problems of economic crisis. Confinement is a means of manipulation, supposedly for the greater good. Furthermore, Foucault goes on to discuss the soul, and how it correlates to power. [...]


[...] Bio-politics, on the other hand, was the regulation of population, which would focus more on the reproductive functions of the human body. This type of bio-power could be seen in demography and ideology, and was used as a control on the statistical level. According to Foucault, power is not only productive; it is made up of many different aspects. It is repression, it is control, and it is law. Only through control and manipulation could society grow and evolve into a better and more disciplined system. [...]

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