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2019 | 8 | 117-127

Article title

Society of control. Discursive practices in ‘Discipline and Punish’ by Michel Foucault


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According to Michel Foucault cultural patterns in discursive practices differ and reflect the discursive apriori, or episteme, of a given epoch. Episteme is a notion introduced by Foucault in order to explain changing systems of thought, it indicates “the underlying orders, or ‘conditions of possibility’ which regulate the emergence of various scientific or pre-scientific forms of knowledge during specific periods of history. These ‘epistemological fields’ give rise to ‘diverse forms of empirical science’” (Foucault 2009: 168). The work titled “Discipline and Punish” is the example of such an empirical approach to history, where all the rules, scientific or pre-scientific forms of knowledge are revealed. The book written by Foucault is a systematic and specific analysis of discursive practices that work in societies of control. Foucault analyzes many such practices starting from severe punishment of the convicted Damiens in 1757, through the hierarchic supervision and normative sanction at the turn of XVIII and XIX century, and ending with the explanations of the workings of contemporary discipline societies with its oppressive rigor in schools, hospitals and prisons.In my presentation I would like to describe these different discursive formations and practices that have been in use in the past or present societies and to present them as certain cultural patterns characteristic to various cultures and societies on different levels of development.



  • Akademia im. Jakuba z Paradyża w Gorzowie Wielkopolskim


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Publication order reference


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