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Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
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am 17. Mai 2017
I both this book to úni purposes, and I find it really amusing. Easy to read, and filled with tons of important information. Good price, but a bit thin page paper.
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am 20. Februar 2014
I was making my architecture theses and tutor recommended to take this book to go deeper into philosophical issue of my theme. It was helpful to understand how juridical apparatus was working and changing in the society. It was easy to see how surveillance became an inevitable part of our daily life.
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am 13. Mai 2000
Michel Foucault is a rather difficult individual to pigeonhole as belonging to one or another scholarly discipline. Is he a philosopher? Well, yes, but there is much more to his work than philosophical inquiry. Is he a psychologist? I suppose that could be argued. Is he a historian? Sort of, but then again his works contain so much philosophy....and round & round we go. So, probably the best thing to do is not attempt to confine Foucault to any one genre of scholarship.
The present book showcases all of Foucault's interwoven, cross-disciplinary talents. F takes us on a tour of the history of punishment in France & Britain over the course of the past 250 years. Surprisingly enough, our modern day image of huge prisons simply did not exist before that period.
The book grapples with the struggle of society to remain humane in a facet of life that is inherently inhumane: the treatment of our criminals. In doing so, F adopts the methodology utilized by Nietzsche in his "On The Geneology Of Morals."
We begin with the most grotesque executions of a few hundred years ago & witness how the paradigm shift went from vengeance to reform re: our handling of criminals. F notes how the primary goal of the prison became one of making the prisoner paranoid that he was being watched, which would (hopefully) instill within him the understanding that he could not get away with violating rules (both inside the prison & also once he was released back into society).
This is an extraordinary book that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in the judicial system, the history of the prison, or anyone who just has a curiousity about the social & political forces which decide the manner in which we mete out punishment to our malefactors. A great read.
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am 21. Dezember 1999
Foucault traces the history of the prison system and the fundamental change in punishment that took place in the seventeenth century from retributive punishment of criminals, 'supplice,' to the rehabilitation of delinquents. Foucault is concerned with this change as it demonstrates something pervasive and not just exclusive to the prison system--normalization, or socialization. All the silly little things done in schools, for instance, you will see in quite a different light after reading this book. It's one of those books that--well, at the risk of sounding supremely cornball, will open your mind. All mind-opening books are painful, though, and this is definitely a painful read, mainly thanks to Foucault's _terrible_ writing style. Apparently he wrote it in two days straight with the aid of way too much coffee. (This is partly the translator's fault--other translator's version are a [slight] improvement, and when Foucault wrote in English he did a better job than any of his translators. Slightly better, that is.) Be prepared for sentences within sentences within sentences within sentences within sentences, none of which are marked off by parentheses or dashes. Foucault uses commas very, very lavishly, as some sort of all-purpose punctuation mark, and shies away from periods as if they were the Plague. Eventually, you get used to it, though, and the content is actually worth it.
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am 5. Mai 2000
Foucault's masterpiece once again reveals the inadequacy inherent in Hegelian homogeneous progressive histories. Foucault invites us to the annals of overlooked spaces of knowledge; schools, prisons, mental hospitals,.. It is a work that entices us to question the philosphy of punishment and how laws are part of the network of power that creates knowledge which in turn bestows the power to regulate, discipine and reproduce reality. And although Foucault does not explicity voice it, capitalism once again is the impetus behind the invention of new forms of rationality and knowledge. The book is an example of a genological rendering of history, which situates discourse on stage of human change which is not always to the best.
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am 25. September 1999
Get ready for a new way of looking at the prison system and the history background that precedes it. This is a critical study of the origins of the prison system and the penalization of criminals. Not an easy read by no means, but a truely provacative thought generating means of looking at the discipline and the prison system of Britian.
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am 28. Januar 2000
Following "L'archeologie du savoir" ("The Archaeology of Knowledge") Foucault's work increasingly focused on the analysis of social institutions. "Surveiller et punir" ("Discipline and Punish") was critically acclaimed even by mainstream historians and is probably his best-received book - today it has the widest readership of all his books because it's actually assigned reading in universities now. Crucial to an understanding of his work as a whole. At this point Foucault had truly become an "engaged" philosopher and this is the beginning of "the later Foucault", the activist and social critic.
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am 15. Februar 2000
Foucault's epistemology is clear - knowledge develops from power. This is an interesting genealogy of the penal system but, an analytical and critical depiction of an observed social phenomenom, it isn't. Foucault's sociology of the body is quite an intriguing sidetrack in his historical account of the decentralization of power. Despite the potential for being a great piece of social analysis, Foucault falls short in Discipline and Punish by insisting on remaining detached from the phenomenom about which he writes. On the bright side, those with the appropriate sensibilities will be fascinated by some thrillingly macabre depicitions of old forms of punishment.
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am 5. Dezember 1998
Do read this book.Then read 'Foucault' by J.G.Merquior. Then see if you can find a single good attempt to refute Merquior's arguments.Then ask yourself why you can't find one.Finally, ask yourself what value Foucault's work has if his hordes of disciples are unable to defend him against detailed charges of factual omission and distortion.
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Foucault's work is more philosophical than historical, and, as such, he is not bound by historical rules of evidence. Thus, the criticisms of the previous reviewer do not apply. This is a thoroughly enjoyable work for anyone interested in a serious look at power relations.
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