Document Type

Research Paper


1975 marked the release of Michel Foucault’s ''Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison" which his preceding lectures would later term 'biopolitics. Both "Discipline and Punish” and "The Birth of Biopolitics” represent some of the most important, impactful, and informative theories on the way in which surveillance functions; consequently, how its power works to materially produce the conditions for oppression.

In "Discipline and Punish,” Foucault utilizes genealogical analysis to trace the historical strands that come together in forming of disciplinary society; what Foucault articulates typifies the power formation and deployment of the contemporary sovereign. Foucault expands on this theory through the development of 'biopolitics'. He defines this as the sovereign’s use of power through politics. This is done in order to manipulate and control the lives of the sovereign’s subjects. Thus, biopolitics provides the regulatory framework for which the execution of power (that Foucault describes in "Discipline and Punish”) not only arises, but also the reason for which it exists in the first place. Biopolitics works not only as a description of the apparatuses of power that the sovereign utilizes, but also the reason for which those apparatuses are used.



Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Biopolitics; Psychoanalysis


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Subjects - Names (LCNAF)

Deleuze, Giles, 1925-1995--Criticism and interpretation; Guattari, Félix, 1930-1992--Criticism and interpretation









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