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Disciplinary/Bio-Power And Rational Autonomy

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Chapter Summary

The French Revolution is, for the most part, construed as one of the most significant socio-political events in history, on account of the way in which it drew to a close the era of monarchic rule and concomitantly ushered in the age of democracy. For many readers of Discipline and Punish, what is alarming is not Michel Foucault's opening description of the brutal public torture of the regicide Damiens, which occurred under the auspices of the ancien régime in 1757 (DP, 3). Bio-power did not operate in a manner akin to disciplinary power, which, over time, required individuals' habituation of a series of correct responses to a corresponding series of organizational and surveillance technologies.

Keywords: Discipline and Punish; bio-power; French Revolution; Michel Foucault



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