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The Problem Of Effective Critique

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Chapter Summary

According to Foucault, disciplinary power and bio-power involve a series of proliferating technologies that are, respectively, orientated around, on the one hand, the regimentation and surveillance of the movements of the individual body within time and space, in the interest of rendering it ever more useful and docile, and, on the other hand, the regulation and supervision of the activities of the population, deemed necessary for its survival. Foucault emphasizes the lightheartedness with which such analyses are undertaken. This, in effect, neatly serves to draw attention to the way in which Foucault's later genealogical orientation never involved any negative evaluation of discursive formations, disciplinary or otherwise, for being the arbitrary products of the play of power. Although such forms of analyses bring into conspicuousness the ways in which disciplinary/bio-power has informed subjectivity around new discursive dynamics, because genealogy, as a methodological approach, is little more evaluative than archaeology.

Keywords: bio-power; conspicuousness; disciplinary power; discursive formations; Foucault; genealogical orientation; proliferating technologies; regimentation



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