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Notes on Foucault M (1977) Discipline and Punish: the birth of the prison, London: Penguin Books Ltd

These notes represent my own interests in reading this large, complex and highly detailed book. In particular, I have left out much of the support material, and much of the discussion of detailed cases, drawn from French historical documents and French history. As usual, my own additional comments are in square brackets. All emphases are mine too. This is still a long file. If you are really pushed for time, a scan through the (notes on the) first and last chapters will probably give the general idea.

Part 1 Torture Chapter one
There has been a shift in types of punishment for criminals. Once these tended to focus on torture or dismemberment applied directly to bodies, but now the notion of punishment involves a public appearance in court, as well as much more 'humane' sentences. This change involves distancing ourselves from spectacle, and is accompanied by a division of labour between courts and jails. Crucially, there is also an underlying technology of punishment, which changes from developing machines to do capital punishment to developing social machines to accomplish reform or conversion. There is also a shift from a notion of the body as a site of pain to one where a body simply loses rights. This is not an even historical process, and not a simple one. Punishment was always more than the punishment of specific crimes. It was a matter of social regulation, designed to punish not just aggression, for example, but aggressivity itself. These days, it is connected to the notion of reform or normalisation, and interwoven with various psychiatric 'objects'. It is associated with other types of assessment of people as well: the classification of criminal acts, for example which should help lead to the most appropriate punishment, after, say, diagnosing madness as a kind of extenuating circumstance (once considered an alternative to guilt altogether). As a result, lots of other authorities are now used to complement the simple mechanism of judgment in court. Judges have not been unwilling accomplices in these developments though, and are now able to avoid blame for any unintended consequences of punishment, or public criticism of punishment. There is a methodological issue to be addressed -- how to write a 'history of the modern soul' (page 23). There is a risk of describing changes as if they were simple factual matters. If we overgeneralise, and focus on forms, as Durkheim does [types of solidarity, for example], we lose the specifics and maybe even reverse the causals. We want to show how the 'new tactics of power', including penal mechanisms, have actually produced processes of individualisation in the first place. There are four general rules to guide this investigation: 1. 2. Punishment is not just a matter of repression, but produces lots of positive effects as well. Punishment must not be considered on its own, but as part of a complex social process. Punitive methods should be seen as techniques with their own specificities, especially as a 'political tactic' (page 23).

We need to analyse the 'body politic as a set of material elements and techniques that serve as weapons.. owned by one social class. As for social contexts. Thus we need to analyse 'concrete systems of punishment' rather than just techniques to reduce crime. as when ‘knowledge corrects power’. It is a combination of power and knowledge (‘power/knowledge') that produces knowing subjects. [operating]. this means both political subjection and the creation of the modern subject]. Power needs a relevant field of knowledge. and all knowledge presupposes power [such as the power to cognitively control the world. and locations where the strategy is at risk. we can subjugate bodies by 'turning them into objects of knowledge'. or replace older mechanisms. and bodies themselves' (page 26). Power is exercised on the body as a deliberate strategy. So far. It is a mistake to think that these are always opposed to each other. studying the power relations which are invested in it. there is no coherent discourse of such a technology. we can see that a focus on corporal punishment in feudal societies reflects the view that the body is the only available kind of property to seize. but offer new possibilities in an entire network. It is a matter of perpetual battles rather than some once-and-for-all contract. We shall ask whether the entry of 'the soul' into science is not really a matter of how the body has been transformed by power relations. [institutions]. To make human bodies into labour power. Any unity in the strategies arises from 'mechanism and modality' [that is from the ways in which they are brought to bear together] (page 27). for example. Instead there is a 'micro physics of power.. that forced labour as a form of punishment diminishes as the institution of free labour becomes a central plank of economic growth (page 25) There was a history of the body already available in demography or in social medicine. As an example. The discussion will show the links between power and knowledge. since the dominated can also act in a web of strategic positions which lead to dominance (page 27).. as in positivism] (page 27). which may prove to be the most important ones [explained below]. . or forced 'to emit signs' (page 25). or when ‘knowledge starts where power ends’ [to cite a couple of counter-cultural slogans]. communication routes and supports [for power/knowledge]' (page 28). These strategies are not privileged. nor is it located in specific institutions. which explains both the history of penal law and the history of human sciences. nor operating with mechanisms such as violence or ideology. We should use this example to uncover the general issue of the '"epistemolo-juridical" formation' (page 23). It is not a matter of the simple reproduction of general social laws. that the growth of the economy led to notions such as the prison factory. as a key instant or 'chapter of political anatomy' (page 28).. We need to describe the positive and useful effects as well. Thus new mechanisms do not simply acquire a set of techniques.. which should make us rethink what the properties of the body are. and to place these in a social context. The underlying principle here is the 'technology of power' (page 23). how it is trained. relays. we know that early systems of imprisonment created a kind of 'civil slavery'. a whole social system is required.. 4. As the prison system shows best. providing an additional labour force. between..3.. A 'political technology of the body' becomes a way of tracing both the history of power relations and object relations. There are lots of points of resistance and struggle. but not really a politics of it. and has led to a specific mode of subjection [as usual. A number of mechanisms of subjection have developed in order to control bodies: the study of these mechanisms becomes a 'political technology of the body' (page 26).

later to be influenced by human sciences. However.thus if 'full proof' were available it would lead to full conviction. Torture was an odd mix of investigation and punishment. It is interesting as a technique aimed at the body. Confession was crucial to the system. since getting at the truth was then [17th century France] a matter for the prosecution only. such as those relating to different kinds of proof or evidence. Deciding on the truth was the exclusive right of the sovereign who delegated this to his judges. and this specialist knowledge should guide decisions rather than ordinary opinions: judgment was deliberately made different from 'common truth'. Foucault argues that the revolts in French prisons in the 1970s are really about this overall subjection. which was sometimes indicated with specific marks on the body. Since it was necessary for confession to be 'spontaneous'. rather than punish the body]. which was seen as the focus for the legal subject -. It is clear that only specialists could use this system. but more as a term arising from a specific view of the body [as some pre-psychological term to grasp the issue of consciousness. a triumph of justice. again depending on the desired level of infamy to be demonstrated. and was therefore risky: if the accused held out. Offenders confessed to a crime 'constructed by writing'. signs of torture on the body made the sentence legible for the public. they could win. He doesn't tell us how he knew this -. Torture should be regarded as a careful technique. . Thus a lot of detailed practical knowledge involved. These were related in turn to particular outcomes -. confession alone was not conclusive but it did have priority and could save investigative time. There were still rules.So terms like 'the soul' appear in discussions of imprisonment not as a result of some Christian revival. including the common use of torture. [In a rare side about current politics. Different sorts of proofs could even be combined arithmetically in a detailed and meticulous way. however. character.the body was tortured to make ‘a [full and free] person’ voluntarily confess. Chapter two There were relatively few capital sentences in seventeenth-century France. hence the widespread use of torture which both sidestepped a whole problematic procedure of gathering evidence and demonstrated the power of the system over any offender. It took place in secret. Admitting the public could only threaten disorder. but there was also this set of carefully regulated stages designed to produce specific effects in an 'economy of power'. or personality]. supervision and constraint' [so imprisonment serves to reform the soul. there was always room for some kind of transaction (page 39). not just objections to specific conditions or regimes. torture was a legal ceremonial in which the truth of the crime was to be revealed. Judicial torture retained some elements of ordeal or testing. and where the accused might somehow cheat justice by surviving the ordeal. excessive. and formally given in court. there were still arguments over the sentences. After sentencing. only applied if some level of guilt had already been established (not difficult in a system where suspicion always involved some guilt). in cases where there were already lots of proofs. that is constructed by legal authorities. it is 'born out of methods of punishment. The whole process was designed be spectacular. This term is produced by power acting on the body. regulated according to matters such as the gravity of the crime. This usefulness explains the survival of torture and the widespread support for it. but lots of corporal 30]. Firstly. and not particularly from a new humanism. Torture was sometimes not used precisely for this reason. Proof was to be decided by magistrates and judges. the rank of the criminal and the rank of the victim. such as whether even a full proof on its own was enough for a capital sentence. offering gradations of pain. However. The process was ritualised too. The individual becomes graspable as an object of this knowledge.

The body of the victim was a unifying object in all these activities. even the Church.sometimes followed a symbolic link with the crime (the tongues of blasphemers were mutilated. The ceremonial involved was meticulous and often involved the military. but which often had to be faked afterwards when they were written up. especially if the relevant laws were unjust or partisan (domestic larceny was one example -. an old custom which lingered for a long time and required a final explicit legal denial. and just as with war processions. executions often seemed to bring shame on the crowd.the mutilations. The excesses of capital punishment -. punishment was turned into a spectacle. or pardon successfully demanded. or sometimes even re-enacted the crime (murderers were killed with their own weapons). The authorities permitted their attendance as participants in the process of royal vengeance. Executioners were constrained and regulated. as all present realised they were victims of the sovereign's power. Punishment therefore has functions for the current system. designed to demonstrate invincibility. Further. renewing confessions at church doors on his way to the scaffold. and their resistance as the annuity intervene in the process will sentence. the dismemberment even after death and so on -. The element of excess in punishment represented the sovereign's right to reply to such an attack and to gain revenge. There was also the ritual of the possibility of last-minute pardons. designed to intimidate the rest of the population (page 49). but they also to be spectators or witnesses. It was the same with gallows speeches. Seventeenth-century notions of punishment should not just be seen as a moral flaw. The contemptuous treatment of the criminal sometimes extended even after death. and there were many occasions where the condemned was released.The accused was often expected to show guilt himself. It became increasingly necessary to keep the public well back. such as fights. which the authorities hoped would allow a full confession. Secondly. but spectacular executions seemed to be associated with crises in the monarchy. The condemned as expected be reprieved if the execution failed in some way. It was part of his right to make war. Such speeches became a literary . death was generally more accepted. The public was there to be terrorised. manifested in personal allegiance. sometimes granted as a further demonstration of the sovereign's power. Such threats were replicated in excessive punishment. Crimes were seen as offences directed at social superiors.represented in armed might. therefore. The contempt for the prisoner's body is a symbolic opposite of that involved in the labour process. Sometimes solidarity with the condemned developed. Punishment was also a 'policy of terror'. torture was a political ritual. and cannot be seen as some simple residue from an uncivilised past. However they were capable of rejecting the spectacle and its meaning and revolting instead. This political ineffectiveness was one reason for the demands for abolition of public executions (page 63). but this also reduced the intended effect. There was often social disorder at execution sites. but their role was to be limited. The authorities always hoped for 'good' executions where the victim was fully public about their own part. The crowds cheered and shouted in 'a momentary saturnalia' (page 60). in the middle of all this excess. for example). or drunkenness. These feelings were not destroyed by the terror of the occasion but reinforced. but this did not always happen. even personal attacks on the sovereign. but as an effect of mechanisms of power -. or being offered opportunities for further elaborations of the truth in the form of last minute confessions. An attack on a person was met with revenge on a body. The condemned often turned on the authorities in their speeches. or coronations. theft. and the need to renew power in spectacles. Of course. The crowd was sometimes complain if an executioner was too cruel or inefficient. and involving rituals of offence and vengeance. where crimes were seen as particularly threatening to social 62). not just to control the crowd but to demonstrate the end of a symbolic war declared by the criminal.

The sovereign's will was too abstract to be a principle for punishment. or in criminals of another social class. Part 2 Punishment Chapter one The demand for reform came at the end of the 18th century: public executions were seen as revolting. As another. A new strategy of punishment emerged. according to Foucault -. who were complaining about the regularity of punishments. however.genre. There was also a move to control violent impulses [rather like Elias's civilisation thesis?]. the system of justice had to be fine-tuned to relate to new elements of the social body. such as the avoidance of feudal customs duties. As a result. Some of these were perceived as necessary to growth. The bourgeoisie began to dominate discussions rather than the old aristocracy. As one result. and although a more general leniency followed from this. . and concessions granted to the crowd. an interest in 'great murders'. the aim of reform was to create a new 'economy of power'. But they could also lead to hero worship. Punishment had to be dissociated from social rank and political risk. and the growth of crimes against property. and an organised police force appeared (which helped to drive crime underground and marginalise had no 'single origin' (page 81). The role of lawyers was also important: they wanted to systematise justice themselves and develop some autonomy from the monarchy and property 76). and the dominance of the aristocracy and their privileges in the whole system. It looked as if an appeal to the humanity of murderers was a main factor here. while Royal power was often seen as arbitrary (page 79). It was no longer necessary to react to these crimes with excessive displays of power. more detailed and consistent. This pressure did not just come from reformers. perceived as falsely claiming to be universal rather than legitimate. rather than some new sensibility. possibly as result of a widely held public morality. The mechanisms of power adjusted to these new conditions. as a consequence. privileges. badly distributed and poorly regulated by the absolute power of the monarch. and increase the romance of the crime. precedents or from political curiosity. intended to act as a final proof of guilt. There were lots of different courts and often conflicts between them. deeper in its effects on the social body. which was to be better. Traces of this are found in the discourse of reformers of the time. or more skilled and calculating crimes. the proliferation of offices. appearing in broadsheets and pamphlets. and. There were still widespread fears of crime and calls for harsh penalties. which led to change. they became much more concerned with every day life. rather than more lenient punishments as such. It even permitted and encouraged illegalities in the form of rights. However. shameful and dangerous. It was this. however -. while the details of every day crime appeared in newspapers. Punishment was to continue. and an increase in prosperity. enabling them to specialise and develop their profession. which had led to the selling of magistracies. or from an interest in souvenirs. Many interests were united behind these demands. and arbitrary interventions. The power of the courts was seen as excessive. new problems emerged around the problem of how to award suitable punishments nevertheless. This literature was widely read. It tended to be replaced by later much more romantic crime literature. The old system was too variable. but not torture. the law changed to become more severe with property offences. The move towards leniency was assisted by an apparent decrease in horrible crimes.

there was an aversion to cruelty. although it soon became apparent that many scientific truths or available rather than just one. trading in pilfered goods. or unused tins of paint suddenly became defined as 'theft']. and criminals could still be seen as traitors. leftover screws. at least a new classification of offences. and new legal procedures to establish the offence using common techniques of discussion. A menu of punishments should be published. New forms of supervision and policing soon followed.This system was in crisis in the 19th century in France. The functions of punishment were clarified too -. it suited reformers to attack either group separately according to tactical needs: the campaign against the people tended to lead. Clearly. there should be no pardons. which was seen as a nasty combination of the powers of sovereign and people. Empirical research was to replace Inquisition. Courts and punishments were reorganised to emphasise property and rights like this.reparation. The role of minimum quantity suggested that punishment should exceed the benefits of crime by the least quantity that remained effective. . 3. Nothing was lost by presuming the defendant to be innocent. and the death penalty could be restricted as inefficient. and this helped reduce the power of the sovereign as well as the working classes. showing the usual bourgeois ability to manipulate gaps in law to suit themselves. It no longer needed to impact heavily on the body of the criminal. There should be an emphasis on common truth rather than specialist versions of it. Judgment represented a 'deep-seated conviction' based on reason. this process became codified: 1. Eventually. 5. rather than relishing in excess. the problem was to calculate the effects of the repetition. Punishment was designed to work on others. For lesser crimes. Penalties were supposed to represent pain rather than actually cause it. particularly in labour markets. and meeting the risk of social disorder were acceptable now only for particularly horrific crimes. it became a matter of calculation as well -. This was done as usual in the name of 'society'. there should be public legal procedures to maximise the gaze directed at the criminal. There should be perfect certainty of a tailored punishment to enable criminals themselves to engage in calculation of costs and benefits. some systematisation was needed.punishment could be calculated according to the same principles of economic life. The growth of industry led to new problems with traditional rights as well [my own homely modern example concerns how the perceived right for dockyard workers to take home offcuts of wood. However. but it still permitted excess and terror on occasion. such as poaching: property became more important than rights. The principle of punishment turned on issues of consistency ineffectiveness rather than spectacle and excess. and to punish exactly enough to prevent repetition. to impress the minds of others (at one stage by using terrifying representations of prison as hell. Torture was no longer needed since the establishment of truth became 'mathematical' (page 97). There is clearly a class dimension to this development. setting an example.A whole black market had grown up. 2. Punishing serious challenges to the social order came to be seen as defending the social contract against those who break it. Magistrates were now seen as scientists or philosophers. in the very visible form of increases in predatory vagabonds roaming the countryside. This was the context for the attack on public executions. Pain must be made abstract and idealised. not the sovereign. This was accompanied by general replacement of the old rights and obligations with property relations. The attack was based on the theory of contract. However. for example). For lesser crimes. New bourgeois property owners acquiring land were particularly hostile to traditional 'rights'. including redefining bourgeois crimes as new kinds of rights after all (examples on page 87 include fraud and tax evasion). 4. rooted in the modern sensibility of the 'reasonable man' (page 91). working on the imagination of the criminal rather than on his body.

repair its loss. Size of penalties should be widely circulated. an early semiology. and individuals are objects to be known. and attention turned to the mind rather than the body. the latter needed much more development. A moral code is to be renewed collectively. including his ability to suffer. engage in public works. and [socialisation].crimes are facts. Criminals became objects used to instruct. The classification of crimes had already be undertaken in a number of ways. to weaken the criminal interest and subdue the passions. and terror abolished. and the criminal a dunce. The public should become the focus of signification. for example rather than signs of celebration. 6. 2. Time should be used positively to plan long-term actions. becoming internalised. However. pride met with humiliation. Such punishment became transparent. Thus criminals should be made to serve the State. and field work included visits to prisons. analogy. or on simple anthropological observational techniques. chain gangs. to identify recidivists. 5. Among the developments: 1. The criminal code was to reclassify offences and offenders. 3. The public itself was to be the audience. although it remained as a very common form of punishment. and the whole hierarchy of prisons were . Punishment should be seen as natural and in everyone's interest. be diminished if reform occurs. by training. it operated as a hidden power.6. Power relations are duplicated in object relations -. where the public could be what the prisoners' crime was. The penalty should be allowed to change over time. designed for example. Thus theft was punished by confiscation of property. Punishment should work on the internal mechanisms of the desires. 4. although there was still a fear of torture. specifically how representations and signs might affect the mind. a quick response to crime Insurers that reality conforms to this code symbols should be widely used. prison workshops. This form of punishment is not arbitrary but uses 'resemblance. A new discourse was developed partly to deny any glamour to crime: crime was a misfortune. Crime and criminals were therefore objectified. Representation of public signs and morality should be organised as a lesson or discourse. The science of the day turned on techniques of classification of species. Simple imprisonment was seen as costly and unproductive. it seemed automatic. but it was to be replaced by 'a new politics of the body' (page 101). so that punishment could be modified according to what was known about the individual. prisons and so on]. Fixed penalties should only be used for incorrigibles. Chapter two Punishment as rational calculation began to spread. or to separate crimes of passion from 'reasoned wickedness' (page 101). Fanatics should be ridiculed rather than martyred. with lots of little 'theatres of punishment' (page 113) [so the public could see criminals engaged in public works. This was done for communicative purposes rather than vengeful symmetry. murder by death and so on. This had already led to some notion of linking crimes and punishments. or to repent. Punishment was seen as a matter of schooling. The main form of instruction was the punitive city. representations and signs. including work on interests. Individualisation was the ultimate aim. so they shape every day discourse. This discourse was to be 'the vehicle of the law' (page 112). and degrading for both prisoners and guards. It should re-teach the value of liberty and property. symbols of mourning should surround the scaffold. and proximity' to link it to the crime (page 104).

classifications. in the early 19th century. nor different apparatuses or institutions. it was driven by a search for an economy of movement. although the prison was to triumph. offering methods to reform and individualise. which set great store by the 'bearing' of a soldier. model prisons added isolation of inmates in an attempt to reactivate the moral subject. The emphasis on representations. supported by parallel developments in philosophy. This can and must be secret and private. These changes. 'prison functions. Prisons became secretive organisations for the first time. In this way. Manipulation was to be uninterrupted. Prisons began as places simply to hold the body of the convict as a guarantee. The changes also were about extracting maximum utility from people as well. as an apparatus of knowledge' (page 126). nor simple moral choices. In the late 18th century in France. Part 3 Discipline Chapter one The techniques to manipulate bodies can be seen in the military. close supervision and regimentation. This model appeared in the USA in a number of variants of ‘penitentiary’ . and prison soon became a major way to punish. Prison became future oriented.human beings are to be manipulable as well as analysable in these treatises. and the person of the criminal gives way to one focused on the body and 'soul'. offering treatment that was personal to the prisoner and the guards. A 'political anatomy' . and a central emphasis to be given to work. with increasing uniformity of penalties -. or a security.the traditional royal mode. This does not require spectacle. They were originally under royal power. where a coercive institution replaces the city of punishment. This time. They featured a deliberate attempt to alter minds. arose from a definite change in the mechanisms of power and technology.the 'colonisation of the penalty by the prison ' (page 117). and kept detailed records of individuals based on observation. but became popular only after a period of reforming zeal. Manipulative techniques became individualised in the 18th century. three 'technologies of power' (page 131).a 'mechanics of power' . on the manipulation of the individual. and detailed. and conditional sentences. although there is a risk that arbitrary despotism will return. leading to a stress on 'discipline'. as in Descartes. one which featured compulsory wage work. and hospitals. as a deliberate 'reformatory'. A theme of docility also emerges -. as well as requirements to do various technopolitical tasks in armies. however require total power over that person. Examples appeared in Amsterdam and Ghent offering individually tailored punishments. the punitive city. It does. increasingly integrated into the State. They indicate different modalities of how power is to be exercised. and the power over the body was extended to the most minute movements. The goal is to generate an obedient subject who obeys and responds automatically. constant. constant supervision and exhortation.built.. These three models did not simply reflect different theories of law. and the ascetic disciplines of the monastery were an influence. on training mechanisms. It reflected the high point of the conception of man as a machine (page 176). omnipresent and enforced automatically. In England. coupling of ideas.. schools. partly because idleness was seen as the roots of crime: they offered nothing less than a 'reconstruction of homo oeconomicus' ['economic man'] (page 123). The punitive city disappeared. These conceptions (or 'registers') overlap in various treatises celebrating man as a machine. lots of solitary confinement for the intractables. and the prison. and estimates of danger represented by the prisoner. there were three mechanisms at work -.

thanks to an 'attentive malevolence that turns everything to account' (page 139). probably originating in monasteries. Discipline requires confinement. Timetabling developed. sometimes less quickly. including the punishment system. such as how to hold a rifle in different circumstances -. Pupils were streamed. Meticulous observation of detail. eventually developing into a science of behaviour. and there was a test at the end. Exercises were individualised according to ability. They were necessary accompaniment to '"cellular" power' (page 149). led to a whole body of knowledge and techniques -. sometimes quickly. so as to account for and supervise individuals and permit calculation about them -. together with a political awareness of them.weapon' complex (page 153). following a careful specification of tasks and the accurate recording of performance. hospitals and the military as solutions to various developments. Learners were segregated from the experienced pupils. Hence the functional layout of factories. or character.a 'body . Time was carefully managed. In France in 1737 a new school appeared which ranked its pupils according to their ability at fixed tasks. to prevent idleness. Space in such organisations was both real and ideal[ised]. divided into discrete periods and sequencing the curriculum. Teachers were given a considerable scope for control in detail. new knowledge about the body emerged. and detail is important to Christian thought as well. and systematic teaching began. The duration of teaching was carefully decided. Learning to read for example was divided into seven stages. Locations inside buildings must be ordered and ranked. they made up a new 'micro physics' of power over individual bodies. This implies some prior analysis and classification of the characteristics of the body. enclosed barracks or special factories.thus 'the man of modern humanism was born' (page 141). Educational spaces became 'learning machines' (page 147). Frequent exercises . and 'disciplinary space'. The body was to be used to maximum efficiency. Together. progress. Thus Jesuit schools were organised like a Roman legion. or for administration. producing early advice about things like the correct posture for handwriting in schools. to simultaneously increase energy and subject it. with stratified rows in classes as positions into which individuals could move. such as different types of marching step in the French army. 3. organised around progress from simple elements towards greater complexity (simply copying whole sequences had been the norm before). The relations between objects were described with increasing precision. Special functional sites must be built permitting further controls such as locked spaces or spaces for isolation. Techniques were very detailed. The essential techniques passed from one institution to another. Finally. A unified technique emerged from a convergence and overlap of lots of small movements and tendencies found in schools. sometimes built with accommodation for workers 2.hence the ideal is cellular architecture. It became increasingly detailed and managed: time was to be made useful with no waste. which then spread throughout the social body itself. and the emergence of ‘supervisory architecture’. Further: 1.were developing. Tables were drawn up to assist rational classifications: tables were thus both 'a technique of power and a procedure of knowledge' (page 148). or industrial or military innovation. as in military drill [the example looks like an early time-and-motion study]. such as ability. There was an increasing elaboration of the desired act. Thus began a whole analytic pedagogy. a whole choreography. such as boarding at school. 4. and groups not allowed to form. Machinery and people were to be used exhaustively. It was even possible to have a complex series of rows and columns so that it became possible to see exactly who fitted where according to a number of dimensions. Space must be flexibly allocated to each individual. such as an outbreak of disease.

Military tactics became a model for social order. and tactics (the 'highest form of disciplinary practice' page 167). These normalising tendencies are very important: defining what is normal is a major instrument of power. a peaceful and docile and mechanical one. they came to invade the major ones. with levels and connections between them. furniture and rooms] (page 172). new command systems were required. of observation in this case. and indeed. for example. One solution was circular architecture to which we shall return to. Power is dispersed in systems like this. often turning on tiny distinctions of clothing or duties. windows. prevent contagion. working-class estates. and it is this that makes individuals. The whole area of non-conformity gradually became punishable. Most organisations also had some system of penalties. as in the gradation of tasks by age in factories and schools. such as signals with automatic responses. Punishments were connected to rewards in a simple system of good and evil. and built latrines with half doors so the legs were visible at all times. had a raised table in the dining room so the staff could see everyone. usually in the form of exercises and tests. and the organisation of units became the most important task. Finally. disciplinary organizations 'normalise' (page 183). into precise arrangements of walls. Chronological series became used as machines to extract the maximum from people. All this detail led to problems of co-ordination. a 'reduplicated insistence' (page 180). seemingly not possessed by anyone. leading to a whole 'micro economy of privileges and impositions' (page 180). A whole architecture of control develops. organic (classifying activities). prisons and schools. Teaching was done this way too. The development of military organisation came from both economic factors. Power became cellular. the individual was now used according to location rather than individual qualities. or circulate air. genetic (taking place over time) and combinatory. Social mobility between the levels produced a constant pressure to conform. What might have started originally as a religious search for perfection now offered endless possibilities for subjection. frequent exercises. Chapter 2 Training became important. so that even children would always be doing something useful. In this way. the rendering of objects as visible. Developments in the division of labour in factories followed a similar route. punishing people [ eg in schools] for lateness or impoliteness. prescribed movement. permitting staff to observe and treat patients. It was founded on tables. and this was realised eventually even by the external legal apparatus which changed accordingly. These locations offer networks of gazes. The great ceremonial procedures are important. hierarchical surveillance and 'embedding' [that is. but the usual solution involved pyramids. although it was possible to calculate more specifically. with senior pupils assisting in administration and surveillance as well as tutoring. but so are the minor ones. subdivided supervision and a degree of specialism. the better to extract relative surplus value [or 'increase productivity' to use more conventional terms]. Schools like the Ecole Militaire taught people in sealed compartments with apertures for surveillance. hospitals. a system of building in. Punishment was intended to correct non-conformity. such as the invention of the rifle. but appearing automatic and mechanical. and this too came to seem natural. such as a view that each soldier should be used to maximum efficiency. in 'observatories' like military camps. urban developments. Marx notes that some factories developed systems like this. asylums. . for example. and technical ones.took place aimed at future evolution according to a guiding programme. Training depends on careful observation. In both.

enabling meticulous files and archives to be kept. records and registers to be produced.the hospital examination allowed the development of medical knowledge. and were effective. or to measure the effects of contacts with others. It individualises. Army inspections enabled the development of a body of tactical knowledge. Examination makes subjects visible which enables power to be exercised on them -. 2. but now we have all been ‘individualised’ in this anonymous and functional way. to test the effects of different prison regimes. but to objectify them [as a kind of micro version of 'hailing']. The techniques were powerful in themselves and were seen as a solution to many problems at once. Thus power was to be seen as automatic and impersonal. only wealthy or famous people could claim to be individuals. Previously. and the ability to fix norms and averages and make comparisons. Knowledge was to follow the power to observe. The point of all this observation was to be able to classify prisoners. never subjects or citizens in their own right. for example to distinguish '"laziness and stubbornness" from "incurable imbecility"'. 3. Bentham's Panopticon was designed to make prisoners objects of information. automatic. documents. and infinitely adjustable. Such individualisation is the basis of all subsequent psychological science. Employees could also be observed. and so could the director. School examinations also enabled the transformation of pupils into objects of knowledge. and to normalise. on their objects. leading to the emergence of pedagogy. a medical examination. Examinations involve a micro focus of power as well. Thus: 1. deviants now have more chance of being genuinely individual than do the law abiding normal citizens [so is this an endorsement of a deviant way of life?]. as seen in the example of the egime enforced on a French village during the plague. Experiments were also possible. not to heroise them. an object for knowledge and power. The hospital became a place of knowledge and training. Constant surveillance was supposed to induce a permanent awareness that they were being watched. and transferred power to the physician from the religious staff. as in the novel. . This is how the modern individual emerges. Examinations make knowledge possible -. Isolation was used to discipline prisoners. as a result of 'descending power' (not just as a result of pressures from the economy). such as military codes (page 190). The techniques could be applied to a wide range of institutions. Each individual becomes seen as a 'case'. so they needed to be [self] disciplined as well. and produced a whole medical discipline. the prison could be inspected and understood by the public. which is central to the exercise of power. based on the examined objects. leading to democratic inspection to prevent abuses of powers. Chapter three Surveillance can be very detailed and very powerful. Consistent and massive discipline and supervision often led to some imagined Utopia of a perfectly governed city. So ironically.The examination [in all its senses. in Bentham’s words (page 203 of Foucault). with the abilities and motives of the supervisor as irrelevant -. no particular skills were required. but the real applications were found in asylums and then prisons. Real lives are turned into writing.thus it both objectifies and subjects. and an educational examination] offers such a 'normalising gaze' (page 184). a scientific examination. Prisoners were to internalise the gaze of the supervisor. each 'inscribes in himself the power relation' (page 203). These small techniques were crucial to the emergence of sciences of the individual.indeed. Prisons need not be heavy dark buildings any more. while the actual occurrence of surveillance was to be 'unverifiable'. and school children and workers too. These in turn permit a whole 'code of symptoms'. Finally.

by organising a national police system.Mechanisms like these strengthen social forces and multiply the power gained from constant low level action. from children in schools to their parents and neighbours (who also needed to be observed and researched in the interests of effective education). and so on]. and turn it into a matter of observation [and behaviour-shaping]. it must be remembered that these are not abstract techniques. and other institutions for that matter. and to set up surveillance networks. but still linked to power. These mechanisms of power could also be incorporated discreetly. The spread of these disciplinary techniques accompanies politics at the grand level as a necessary 'dark side'. low-level data gathering generates power that can be focused directly on to individual bodies. with a specific role to observe details and gather intelligence. A threshold was crossed in the 18th century. There were several other disciplinary mechanisms arising from the 'new class power' (page . and resistance overcome. 'rationalisation' for Weber. comparison. All these are examples of the necessary context for more abstract examples highlighted by other thinkers. prolonged observation is at the heart of penal justice. and to harness the recently developed productive forces. measurement and coding predated the use of prisons as purpose-built institutions. for example. from hospitals and charities to their communities. They guarantee the necessary submission to authority. required to do so at lowest cost. not just constrain people but to increase their effectiveness. The spread of these techniques enabled a political and administrative take-off in modern society akin to the economic one. and this is to be done by an insistence on vertical channels of power. Thus prisons have an important role in applying a universal law to complex concrete cases. They do this in new circumstances. They do not extend the law but underpin it -. and to the greatest effect and extent. This was as important a step as the emergence of industrial technologies. Mechanisms are needed to manage increasing populations. and prisons became models for disciplinary networks and an entire disciplinary society. The new physics of measurement. This carries on where the law stops [and into things like social science]. New mass institutions such as schools and armies require legions of docile objects. but are a modal type of power. These developments have to be coordinated. They implement the power to punish. by developing workshop discipline. This happened because of an increased demand for the positive role of disciplines. even though it has never been recognised as such. Power no longer needs to be violent and discontinuous. These mechanisms fabricate individuals. However.and I would want to add 'organic solidarity' for Durkheim. The State took an increasing role. This is equally integral to the accumulation of capital (page 221). There was a spread from particular institutions [or State apparatuses]. Disciplinary techniques cover those frequent local occasions where the law must be temporarily suspended [or extended and modified] in the interests of order. an essential accompaniment to the political rhetoric of equality and rights. and the old mechanisms of docility are inadequate and too costly. at least in France. such as the 'great abstraction of [economic] exchange' (page 217) [obviously for Marx -. producing new scientific knowledges and disciplinary technologies. It even recolonised the system of justice from below. so that now. the real basis of social order.for example by it supporting the work contract. Part 4 Prison Chapter 1 All the trends of observation. and the 'foundation of formal juridical liberties' (page 222). It led to the growth of empirical investigation and to both natural and human sciences. Disciplines are not the same as institutions. preventing horizontal communication at the lower levels (page 220).

Work had the functions of inculcating docility and obedience. There was a whole new biographical inquiry. such as their 'psychology. It was about a power relation rather than the extraction of profit. It soon seemed as if there was no alternative. as we have 241. and the social groups [almost subcultures] to which delinquents belong. The metaphor of resurrection became widely used. acquiring clinical knowledge of inmates which was denied to the other two levels. Since personal liberty was highly was the 'religion of the prisons' (page 242). such as using the treadmill or pump. This would only be painful for the unreformed and the impenitent. Specific mechanisms included: 1. comparing good conditions in prison with poor conditions outside in normal factories -. in Goffman's terms].'paying off a debt'. 'Prison fabricated delinquents' (page 255). as a kind of 'moral accounting' (page 250). economic. of course]. tendencies. This reduces the personal responsibility for crime. uniquely requiring an institution like a prison to reconstruct their entire life in the form of specialist knowledge. It involved a splitting of the sentence into legislative. and this could even be quantified. The growth of prisons led to the development of advanced record keeping. some of them surprisingly familiar. especially in terms of managing contact with the guards. but simultaneously makes criminality even more formidable. This was the only way to implement the intentions of the sentence. and had the additional advantage of being cost-effective. protecting the prisoner from corrupting sources outside and inside. There is still some unease about this autonomy today. although the clash between religious. Prisons can also generate labour for the benefit of the whole society -. medical. requiring even stricter regimes (page 252). Isolation and individualisation. however. 3. This is a person who offends because of their past life.certainly. There were several debates about how to organise this regime. helping the prisons to develop a measure of autonomy and power of their own. a restriction of it just seemed right and egalitarian. judicial. which eventually led to modern criminology. The main role of prison work was to reform. There were debates about whether prison labour should be waged. but only about details. There was also a classification of delinquency leading to different regimes for different types (such as imbeciles or cunning people). They seemed to be only an extension of familiar disciplinary mechanisms. This notion eventually overcame the opposition of the judiciary. no other institution was capable of such full implementation. Delinquency also requires the investigation of other issues beyond personal responsibilities double .231). drives. and focused on the prisoner as much as on the offence. Prisons were special because they were [total institutions. In this sense. including a 'technicomedical' regime aimed at 'cure'. Autonomy once granted led to the full implementation of schemes like Panopticon -. The real achievement.the delinquent. a routine and a regime of work [there is still a view that delinquency arises from social disorganisation. Prisons offered a way to modulate penalties. character' (page 253). offering exhaustive uninterrupted and total control. however -. Prisons helped solve the contradictions between egalitarian law and the need for disciplinary subjection in the form of a more civilised penalty. 2. who tended to like fixed sentences. and they always offered to reform individuals. The last level was even seen as the most expert. was the emergence of an entirely new object -. The systematic daily timetable. and administrative models prolonged the debate. social position and upbringing' (page 252). Hence there was a systematic series of stages or phases in the prison regime. or how to re introduce social contact generally. and the 'theory of the prison' (page 235) had long been an active field. and some of it made no sense otherwise. There had long been an interest in machines to reform people. and now 'penitentiary' levels.the 'instincts. as we have seen. with the gradual emergence of specialist penitentiary ‘schemata’. although both delinquents .

rather than the one causing the other. criticisms led to an insistence that prisons should not be replaced. That is because of their other positive functions. should offer education. usually on Panoptical principles. This used to work as one of those public rituals. to use classifications and legal punishments as part of a much more general strategy to preserve social order. must make work central. The spectacle induced a 'saturnalia of punishment' as it traveled through France. the public display of convicted criminals on their way to prison. the refusal to pay taxes escalated into civil disobedience. attempted to heroise themselves. These new illegalities helped to delegitimize the law. brutalising and corrupting them. together with interwoven 'discourses and architectures. since the coach was supposed to be a dark warning to onlookers.. This began the process of reforming prisons. which showed how illegal action could take on a political dimension (as. which the public were supposed to interpret in official ways (and which they also interpreted in unofficial ways) as part of the 'semiology of crime' (page 259). Delinquency was nevertheless a unique category. say. interwoven with prison design as a 'complex ensemble' (page 271). should be staffed by trained specialists. that they did not reform delinquents. . and the reformed individual. and should be extended to include a system of follow-up on release to check if prisoners had successfully been rehabilitated. These themes remained constant. such as the social outcast. Convicts frequently played to the crowd. not only those of the feudal regime. prisons continued to be built. but to use them. Panopticon' (page 263). but rather produced them. As a result. must offer modifiable penalties. but 'a mobile. Criticisms included that they caused recidivism. the chain gang became very unpopular with the authorities in the 1830s. Occasionally. The criminal law always had the problem of dealing with illegalities. which became seen as increasingly partisan. rebelled. corrective and reinforcing programmes' (page 271). Running throughout these criticisms are contradictory demands. This category was created not to eliminate criminals. demonstrated with statistics as early as 1831. to handle illegalities and to process them. Prison also punished families by making them destitute.. must isolate and individualise. and there was a danger that these would be associated with wider social struggles. standing between the old ones. As an alternative. no mere enclosed coach.and modern prisons appear together. New illegalities arose from the proliferation of new offences -. However. encouraging them to build loyalties to their fellow prisoners. especially the dangerous ones. Chapter 2 The changes in punishment technology were symbolized in the ending of the chain gang. but those arising from the political revolt of 1830 and 1848. or as strikes became revolutionary). marching chained together. and offering them no real chance of work outside. The category expressed a unique combination of law and science... that prisons should both act more effectively to correct and that they should still offer punishment. coercive regulations and scientific propositions.ways of avoiding new property laws. Prisons were continually seen to fail to rehabilitate offenders. but must: be aimed at reform. this time in the usual sense of making them unsuited to return to normal society. and it was the main contribution of the prison (and its continuing social value) to bring this contribution into being (page 256). Throughout it all. conscription or work discipline. a special police carriage was devised to transport prisoners. a utopian elements surfaced. and even suggested that their crimes were political ones. and yet they still received public support. The development of prisons has always been accompanied by criticisms of them. but the old semiology also persisted. for example. including the creation of the delinquent.

workshops. Applying the law increasingly became a matter of regulating this group. and the fear of them increased. where delinquents could be developed. in this case separating delinquents from normal working class people. rather than science. of course. The prison trained other professionals too. where contacts could be made. a myth of the mob. There were attempts to map their world as an alien one. The prison's role became even more important. in crime novels [especially 'noir']. armies. and some criminals were celebrated as offering political challenges [as an example of rebellious subjectivity?]. and the systematic recording of results. The timetable stressed physical exercise. It is literally impossible to police all of them. and the aim was to produce a 'strong a skilled agricultural workers' (page 295). work. only did normal criminality such as armed robbery. The debate shows that tactical importance of definitions and classifications. The surveillance of criminals enabled developments of general surveillance of the population as a whole [compare this with the CCCS accounts of the moral panic generated by 'mugging' as a device to excuse the increased policing of political dissidents]. where the failure to reform became insignificant compared to these new functions. although Psychology was to develop in that institution as 279 -. Demonising delinquents seemed to localise criminality. who were admired as diamond geezers because they looked after their old mums. in the spirit of ‘the return of the repressed’. involving criminal intelligence. This one seemed to combine a number of disciplinary models. schools and even their own internal courts. the prison remained as an important location. The criminal classes not only disobeyed the law. not politically subversive ways [this reminds me of the celebrity enjoyed by the notorious Kray or Richardson Gangs in the East End of London. so to speak by the practical techniques of discipline. Delinquency becomes needed as a category that can be policed. possibly for young offenders. Some illegalities were not policed. often associated than an attempt to expose upper-class crime.There was a general fear of the people in the 19th century. including scientific versions referring to ‘criminal classes’. Delinquency was seen as a useful safety valve. and control illegality (indeed. central records and so on. the police deliberately used local thugs or prostitutes to control and inform on local activists -. and has even led to the emergence of celebrity convicts. . This assisted the training in general morality. and was successful enough to turn respectable working-class elements against delinquents. There was even some early work to celebrate the political potential of crime. focusing on techniques of 'pure discipline'. (Union leaders were denounced as criminals and tended be punished more severely!) Delinquents were seen to be a kind of 'reserve army' for the police). Delinquency was seen as less dangerous politically and economically because it did not escalate into social struggle. but were seen to misunderstand its abstract language (page 276) [a kind of 'linguistic deprivation theory' of under-achievement]. and only murdered fellow gangsters]. but there has been resistance in the form of a long alternative working-class account of delinquency as a political matter. Chapter 3 The chapter opens with a description of a particular model French prison (Mettray). in various workers' journals of 1838. who practised illegality only in delinquent ways.These techniques have worked pretty well. to define and classifying and treat delinquency as a manageable form of illegality. In all this. and thus it became an approved and politically convenient category. Surveillance required an extended security service. Small techniques such as the use of the card index enabled considerable progress. It is easier to supervise delinquency too. sheltered. such as families.

Prisons became a 'modality of power' for the human sciences (page 305): they produced 'knowable man' from their particular combination of domination and observation. Punishment was so generalised that it came to appear to be natural. 6. A whole graded system of discipline covering everything from minor infringements to criminal offences. penal colonies. and that any departure from the norm would be dealt with. rather than a single central source for it. However they are vulnerable if delinquency proves to be a less useful category in the future. rules. with prison only as a 'pure form' (page 302). 3. which had the effect of helping to develop the human sciences. and solidified or institutionalised. They spawned Alms Houses. orphanages. We can see that this model is based on the notion of networks of power. and on a whole series of elements including 'walls. a series of overlapping institutions and procedures. in reality. which further strengthened the notion of a delinquent. since people are judged in a number of institutions.Prisons like this were to represent just one stage in a whole 'carceral archipelago' (page 297). techniques and negotiations is responsible. The growth and spread of rival disciplinary apparatuses might also weaken the privilege of the prison. Prison was seen merely as an extra degree of 'normal' discipline. sanctioned by those other institutions which used the same techniques and rationalities. The set is aimed at a number of illegalities rather than at preserving some central body of laws. This organisation was useful to threaten that minor offences will end in conviction (page 299). space. to include an 'appetite for medicine'. It is run by strategy and struggle. and a consistent system was economical in its effects. 4. The system is dominant. and because of their strong ties to mechanisms of power generally. 2. Any such careers were perpetuated by the system. and particular institution such as the courts depend on this set. What resulted was: 1. . agricultural schools. but always there is the 'distant roar of battle' (page 308). all of which practised additional surveillance on their communities as well as on their inmates. It is not enough to explain the emergence of this system as simply a matter of 'repression'. People got used to punishment. ‘factory-convents’ and specialist charities. including schools. The judiciary also lost something of their specificity. not arbitrary. The creation of whole 'disciplinary careers' (page 300). There is a whole set of mechanisms to administer punishment. 5. discourses' (page 307). or marginalisation: instead a whole series of petty decisions. institutions. The law and the role of judges were changed. Prisons endure because of these positive functions. as it might in the face of new forms of illegalities including globalised ones. The power to punish was legitimated. The role of the examination was spread.