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Explain In Your Own Words What You Understand Either By The Term ‘Disciplinary Society’

1785 words - 8 pages

Topic: Explain in your own words what you understand either by the term ‘disciplinary society’

Discipline means agreement to a superior authority. Accommodating the norms of the family, society, the instructions of elders and obeying them is also discipline. Yet, discipline means accepting punishments for violation. The discipline in addition means training of mind and character, rising self-control and the custom of obedience. We live in a democracy. Democracy is based on the willpower of majority of its citizens. It has to be accepted and obeyed. If not democracy loses its meaning and leads to anarchy. Some argue that discipline limits liberty and that also kills the man’s initiative. ...view middle of the document...

The disciplinary societies have two poles: first - the signature that designates the individual, and second - the number or administrative numeration that indicates person’s position within a mass. This is for the reason that the disciplines never saw any inappropriateness between these two, and because at the same time power individualizes and masses together, that is, constitutes those over whom it exercises power into a body and molds the individualism of each member of that body. The discipline of the society required the united conclusion of the body in order to protect the harmony of “the members”.
According to Foucault (2000, p. 339)
“What is to be understood by the disciplining of societies in Europe since the eighteenth century is not, of course, that the individuals who are part of them become more and more obedient, nor that all societies become like barracks, schools or prisons; rather, it is that an increasingly controlled, more rational and economic process of adjustment has been sought between productive activities, communications networks, and the play of power relations”.
Critics have repeatedly read Foucault’s opinion of a disciplinary society as meaning that people subject to its effects act like automatons (Munro, 2002). That is surely the aim of the disciplinary regime, but not automatically the result in practice. In fact, people continually oppose attempts to reduce and organize their behavior whether with a deliberate program of resistance in mind, or piecemeal in specific situations just because they don’t like it. Unfortunately as punitive regimes become more sophisticated, people have to become more and more creative – or just simply destructive – in their attempts to get around these authoritarian systems.
Foucault’s ideas have often been blamed – particularly by conservative commentators – for the alleged contemporary breakdown in social order and for development the resistance to traditional seats of authority which has marked ethical systems in the post World War II period. I would argue that Foucault’s work – as was the work of other thinkers who emerged in the 1960s – was in fact a caution about certain directions in social organization which have now become all too obvious. According to Johnson (2010, p. 18)
“The disciplinary society is not something that had its heyday in the nineteenth and up to the mid twentieth centuries and now only exists in Charles Dickens novels or the histories of totalitarian regimes. It has evolved using sophisticated techniques of govern mentality to become a system of extraordinary complexity and regulatory effectiveness”.
Humanity is subjected to the labor process for those who have control over it instead of any general purposes of humanity as such. If someone controls humans over the labor process, it will pull a 360-degree turn on people and the labor process tends to control humans (Johnson, 2010). Machinery comes into this world sort of like anonymity. Most people...

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