In this brilliant work, the most influential philosopher since Sartre suggests that such vaunted reforms as the abolition of torture and the emergence of the modern penitentiary have merely shifted the focus of punishment from the prisoner's body to his soul.
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The few chapters I read for school were interesting. Might come back to read the whole book sometime.more
Foucault is a historian, at least a his-story-ian. and this is an interesting story. take the soul out of the prisoner, the atrocities of the execution, the discipline and punishment pre 1847 when peasants enjoyed the spectacle of watching a man have his limb's ripped apart for killing another man. this is good writing.more
Prison is the symbol of a certain idea of society and of the mechanics of power inside it.From the excessive and bloody justice of the ancien régime to a disciplinary society in which ongoing examinations take place every time and the judges-controllers are a lot more than we think.Foucault gives to the prison also a political contingence but tells us also that soon or later it will not be necessary anymore, for the widening of punish/reward connections with the consequent fainting of punishments' intensity will make detrimental to mantain structures for the total submission and recostruction of individuals such as jails.The only problem of this intelligent and challenging book is that Foucault seems shy to share his opinion on the issue; nearly as if he's afraid of 'abuse' of his power and influence over the reader.more
not the easiest read, I grant you, but indispensible history (both social and as a business) of "corrections"more
Foucault relates developments in prisons and punishment with larger trends in culture and civilization. He argues that ancient regime punishment of the body evolved into punishment of the mind or spirit. He relates these changes to capitalism.more
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