Disciplinary Societies (Wordhole)

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According to Michel Foucault, disciplinary societies are characterized by a constant passage from closed structure to closed structure, namely from the family to the school to the factory etc. The idea behind a disciplinary society is to group and organize individuals for a more effective distribution of labor.

In Discipline and Punish, Foucault traces the introduction of prisons into society; the movement away from public executions towards carceral systems and several implications of these historical changes. Discipline is closely connected to increasing bureaucracy and the development of biopolitics.

Foucault doesn't fail to mention the way disciplinary societies indirectly shape mentalities that work around their structure, and how rites are developed to protect a sense of self and a sense of pride through niche, anti-authoritarian communities.

Steve's notes on the difference between disciplinary and control societies:

"In Foucault disciplinary society is governed by ‘precepts’ (“texts” establishing protocols of behavior, discipline and social organization) which govern spaces. Society organized through capsularity (sic?): in which specific spaces have specific functions and specific "means of correct training". “In the disciplinary societies one was always starting again (from school to the barracks, from the barracks to the factory)” Each space has its own discourse (specialist language) which regulates them. In Foucault’s discipline society the subject internalizes discipline (becomes subject to the discourse of a given space) in which case re-form is the model (the subject under discipline is re-formed). By contrast: societies of control are governed by code- which give access or bar individuals from flows of information (at "informational intersections"). The subject flows “in a continuous network.”

  • Foucault Discipline and Punish

See also: Control Societies (Wordhole)