Discipline And Punish By Foucault 's Critique Of The Modern Liberal Society

1332 Words Nov 7th, 2016 6 Pages
Our contemporary liberal society is often viewed and evaluated as a superior form of human civilization—one of which that offers the upmost freedom to its civilians. Regardless, it is important to explore this notion of freedom and dig deeply to see just how “free” our contemporary liberal society actually is. In his book Discipline and Punish, Michel Foucault offers a critique of the modern liberal society and helps to expose the truth behind the ever-present illusion of freedom. According to Foucault, an individual is disciplined and punished in society in three different aspects: by hierarchical observation, normalized judgements, and strict examination. By Foucault’s examination of these aspects of disciplinary power, he concludes that our contemporary liberal society falls somewhere on the spectrum in-between a utopia and a dystopia. According to his analysis, and by consulting other forms of sources, I will hold that contemporary liberal society does act somewhat as a well-disguised disciplinary dystopia, and this society can be very dangerous to the citizens that it fosters. Values of contemporary liberal societies are grounded in the social treatment of the individual (Foucault, 19). In Discipline and Punish, Foucault outlines the civilized transformation between a penal society designed around deterrence to that of one that treats the criminal as an actual human being that is malleable and can become rational agents of society if punished through non-torturous…

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