A type of power, a technology

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Definition in Foucault

‘Discipline’ may be identified neither with an institution nor with an apparatus; it is a type of power, a modality for its exercise, comprising a whole set of instruments, techniques, procedures, levels of application, targets; it is a ‘physics’ or an ‘anatomy’ of power, a technology (Foucault 1975, 215).

Let us say that discipline is the unitary technique by which the body is reduced as a ‘political’ force at the least cost and maximized as a useful force. The growth of a capitalist economy gave rise to the specific modality of disciplinary power, whose general formulas, techniques of submitting forces and bodies, in short, ‘political anatomy’, could be operated in the most diverse political regimes, apparatuses or institutions (Foucault 1975, 221)


Foucault, Michel. 1975. Discipline and Punish. Random House.

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