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Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977 Paperback – November 12, 1980
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Now, in this superb set of essays and interviews, Foucault has provided a much-needed guide to Foucault. These pieces, ranging over the entire spectrum of his concerns, enabled Foucault, in his most intimate and accessible voice, to interpret the conclusions of his research in each area and to demonstrate the contribution of each to the magnificent -- and terrifying -- portrait of society that he was patiently compiling.
For, as Foucault shows, what he was always describing was the nature of power in society; not the conventional treatment of power that concentrates on powerful individuals and repressive institutions, but the much more pervasive and insidious mechanisms by which power "reaches into the very grain of individuals, touches their bodies and inserts itself into their actions and attitudes, their discourses, learning processes and everyday lives"
Foucault's investigations of prisons, schools, barracks, hospitals, factories, cities, lodgings, families, and other organized forms of social life are each a segment of one of the most astonishing intellectual enterprises of all time -- and, as this book proves, one which possesses profound implications for understanding the social control of our bodies and our minds.
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Top Customer Reviews
The problem with this book is in the presentation. I don't agree with other reviewers who state that this is a good summary or compendium of Foucault's works, because of its very fragmentary nature. Each of the chapters here can be considered distillations of Foucault's thoughts on key subjects. Most of the chapters are structured as interviews or dialogues but with no surrounding context. We have no explanation of who the interviewers are or from which angle they have approached Foucault's works. The chapters begin abruptly, often with the feel of an interview in progress, with no introductory explanations of the context for that portion of Foucault's efforts. Similarly, the chapters end abruptly with no wrapping up or conclusive explanations of the matter at hand. One chapter consists of two "lectures" given at different times, with zero explanation of the purpose of Foucault's visit to wherever the lecture was delivered, who the audience was, or the environment in which Foucault's presence was utilized.Read more ›
For Foucault, (as it exists in modern societies) power is not an entity to be acquired, it is an instrument that is continually exercised. Power operates as knowledge through discourse, confession, observation, surveillance, etc. "Power for Foucault is not an omnipotent causal principle, or shaping spirit but a perspective concept" (245). Power is used and applied, not obtained.
This volume serves as a useful compendium to the ideas outlined in Foucault's major works, (i.e. Madness and Civilization, Discipline and Punish, the Order of Things, Archeology of Knowledge, Birth of the Clinic, etc.). It is mostly a gathering of lectures and interviews with various scholars in the field of the history of systems of thought. The first essay (On Popular Justice) is a discussion with a Maoist organization about the applicability of people's courts and the use and relativity of the concept of justice. One gets the impression that Foucault is not entirely at home with this material. The second essay (Prison Talk) is an explication of the major ideas posited in Discipline and Punish, particularly the development of Bentham's Panopticon and the transmission of power as surveillance. A fascinating read, and one of Foucault's great breakthroughs in the social sciences. The third essay (Body/Power) provides further information about Discipline and Punish.Read more ›
"Power is employed and exercised through a net-like organization. And not only do individuals circulate between its threads; they are always in the position of simultaneously undergoing and exercising power." Power is much more abstract, by Foucault's definitions than any previous theorists described it. It is not necessarily a conscious, intentional application of force. Power can be the relationships between components of a society or the relationship between societies. This very subtly makes the analysis of power, more complex and yet more engaging.
Media continues the construction of knowledge. Universities and other such institutions begin the process and sanction it -- provide it "an expert system" by which it is validated. However, the media reinforces this validation by replicating it in mass quantity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My fiancé loves this book. Foucalt is one of his favorite authors of philosophy.Published 14 days ago by Jenna Peters
Got here very quickly, and very good quality. Very pleased.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book came in great condition! I would absolutely come back if I ever need more booksPublished 13 months ago by David Perez
Michel Foucault (1926-1984) was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, and social theorist and activist; he wrote many books, such as Madness and Civilization: A History of... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Steven H Propp
This was not the same book as the cover suggests even has a different ISBN number.Published 15 months ago by VCF99
He's a wordy twat. Power is simple. The richer, the more insane and sociopathic. Guillotines for the richest. No more private money, not a speck in POLITICS... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Frank Snapp
If you are a Foucault follower, I doubt you'll find anything of worth in this book. If you don't know Foucault, you are better off reading some of his original works. Read morePublished on February 25, 2014 by Sue