Governmentality

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    normalization, and how equating disability as a ‘genetically-related’ condition rejects the possibility to identify the power relations at work (namely biopower and disciplinary power). I also argue in this section that science produces biased views towards people with disability. In the next section, I use Nick Bostrom as an objection to my thesis. I use Melinda Hall’s “Vile Sovereign in Bioethical Debate” to counter Bostrom’s objection. I then conclude the paper. Background Information on Biopower, Disciplinary Power, and Normalization In The History of Sexuality, Foucault asserts that the traditional interpretation of a sovereign (think of an absolute monarch) has been replaced (Foucault, 262). He claims that biopower (sometimes called governmentality) is the replacement of the sovereign, and norms are its enforcement. Biopower is primarily concerned in investing in human life (Foucault, 262). It is specifically concerned with obtaining information about birth rates, mortality, and health (Foucault, 262-4). This allowed for a government to manage the mass population or the ‘body politic’ (ibid). Knowing this information served the interest of the state as it allowed for what Foucault called the rise of ‘power-knowledge’, where institutions with power set out to use their influence to create an illusion of knowledge (Rouse, 103). It is important to note for Foucault, all knowledge emerges from complex networks of power in which the exercise of this power creates types…

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    Throughout western governments there has been a focus on utilizing French philosopher Michael Foucault governmentality theory (Krasmann 2015). Foucault governmentality theory has been applied to various health conditions with regards to health promotion campaigns. In this essay I will be examining the key concepts around governmentality, whilst applying it to health issues related to smoking. Foucault governmentailty shades away from previously used government method of governing by virtue of…

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    Foucault introduced “governmentality” in his study of the autonomous individual’s capacity for self-government in the context of the problematics of power. Defining government as “the conduct of conduct” and as a term ranging from “governing the self” to “governing others,” Foucault uses this notion of government in connection with the link between forms of power and processes of subjectification. Today, the world government possesses solely a political meaning. However, Foucault’s notion of…

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    The next concept Foucault describes is panopticon, which is the architecture of the building that the discipline and power take place. Panopticon is the physical make up of how Bentham’s composition would work. The last concept that he describes is governmentality. Governmentality is the use of power and discipline in a way that makes it more effective. The discipline will be able to spread across the society so that all the power will not actually have to be done by force. With the power being…

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    Michel Foucault's Analysis

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    The influential work of Michel Foucault has provided academic literature a unique theoretical understanding of the self and its relation to subjectivity and power. As Abercrombie, Hill, and Turner (1986, p. 43) stated, Foucault’s work has greatly contributed to the studies on the self, specifically targeting its history. This paper will explore the criticisms regarding Foucault’s ideas about the subject and power. More specifically, this paper will discuss his claims about disciplinary power and…

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    There have been many concerns in what food choices children are making, allowing the government and schools, more than ever, having to intervene into what choices children make for school dinners and what food is involved in their pack lunches so children do not become ‘poor, obese and lazy’ (Warin, 2011: 11). Thus, this is a Foucauldian understanding of ‘governmentality’ which the state exercises control over the schools and the children to regulate what they eat and how much to eat as he…

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    medical problems. It harnesses prevailing gender and sexual anxieties which invite people to engage deeply in the practices of self-surveillance. DIY pornography is a bit different reinforce gender. The fact that technology is a way of revealing knowledge. DIY porn is a shift from objectification to self subjectification at a cultural and bio-political level through the media. DIY porn creates this sense of control coming from the individuals to promote themselves as subjectivity, rather…

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    Nazgol Bagheri

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    Both works illustrate the commoditization and fetishism of the fashion industry by the women of the conservative nations. Moreover, like Gökarıksel and Secor, Bagheri notes that changes in the female apparel that nowadays is being sold in the predominantly Muslim countries, provide women an opportunity of self-expression. This idea made me think of the “neoliberal governmentality” concept, as the consumption of the fashionable clothes along with the places that sell it, tends to lead to the…

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    Foucault’s technologies of self, Grace Ministries, and the Lazarus Project Since they seek to change people’s lives and focus less on the social conditions contributing to addictions, could the Lazarus Project be called an “oppressive” organization? The concepts “technology of self” and “governmentality” (introduced by Michael Foucault) have come in vogue in the social science literature, and have been applied to the role of various non-profits. According to Ghatak and Abel (2013, p. 220), in…

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    Medicalization Of Birth

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    showing a black granny midwife in a very poor home delivering a baby and saying ‘Would you want this kind of person to deliver your baby?” (Epstein & Lake, 2008). This shows how the medical establishment created a negative discourse around midwives by using racial and class prejudices to create the image of expert knowledge for themselves. Discourse, along with the clinical gaze, have created a system of governmentality that controls pregnant women’s behavior (Allan, 2014; Epstein & Lake, 2008).…

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