The Subject and Power by Michael Foucault

In his essay, Michael Foucault provides a combines foundation on his work by constantly highlighting the complex  principle of power relationships that broaden every aspect of cultural, social and political lives of an individual with regards to the concerning matters of all concepts of subject positions and protecting out consent by the threat of corrective sanctions. The Subject and Power records a significance theory of power and analysis of disciplinary society with regards to power relationships. Moreover, the author wants to create a history of power through different modes by which human are made to be the primary subjects of his study. Although various researchers interpret his essay to be a reversal in authors principles, still, it helps readers to be more analytical on the concept of power and subjectivity.

In his essay The Subject and Power, Foucault recognizes three subjects that were the focus of his study, power, knowledge and ethics. In his work he argues to have followed them correspondingly with the primary underlying apprehension for the subject. Power according to Foucault are embedded in social life and as he observes, govern mentality is an inescapable reality of social life. Life in our society is inevitably involves actions being practiced on other kind of actions. Likewise, in institutions such as the family and others, the conduct (ethics) of individuals and clusters is bound for the subject of government. Teacher and pupil, parent and child, employer and employee, doctor and patient, and professional and client relationships, as well as more intimate head to head meetings, are relationships in which act is routinely practiced over the actions of others. But while direction is practiced over the chance of conduct (ethics) and endeavors are made to establish or order possible outcomes, simultaneously, as Foucault conclude in his essay, there is always the principle that knowledge gives to every person.

The essay that the authors made primarily makes at least two points. First is the concept of power relationships in which one must be aware of the discussions regarding the concept of power and freedom at the same time. As Foucaults argued in his work, power and freedom always compliment each other. Wherever there is power, freedom is also present. Thus he said Power is applied only over free subjects, and only in so far as they are free. Although this principle may be weird at first, it can be noticed that authors view is not simply creating the idea of power and freedom. Thus, the second essential point comes out on the subject of power.

The second argument is about the theoretical histories of power in which the authors did not directly mention his work. In other words, he did not offer one model of power, but numerous models of different modalities in which power is take for granted during modernity. Thus, he further describes in his work the different principles and kinds of power such as Biopower (regulatory power), disciplinary power, government power and pastoral power. He also offers an extended principle and commentary on each kind power and directly asks questions regarding their relationship.

Moreover, the author also explains the mechanism of power in which cannot be studied apart from their relationship. He mentions that this are not occurrences derived from more essential social and economic processes but rather on the nature of its kind of state. As such, he further discusses that the materialization of the state is visualized as a kind of power which disregards individuals and favors the interest of the majority. Thus, he reiterated States power is both an individualizing and totalizing type of power.

Another important factor that the author mentions is the visualization of the different kinds of institutions from various perspectives of power relations. Foucaults tries to approach this kind of power relations from the perspectives of the institution. He studies the mechanisms that are intended to make sure the endurance of the institutions in question. As such, he conceptualized power relations as an action to reduce other actions. This kind of actions makes one understand that power relations are embedded deep in the public nexus and not reconstituted above society as a complementary structure whose fundamental effacement one could perhaps dream of.

In overall, the effect of relationship between power and strategy is a common petition at every moment of relationship of power. This is also equal to the correlation between oppositions in society that may put the operation of mechanisms of power. The results of this kind of instability are the capability to interpret the same events and the same transformations. Thus, the interpretation of this kind of transformation is either from inside the history of resistance or from the perspectives of the power relationships. Therefore, it is exactly the discrepancies between the two principles of the authors in which it makes visible to the fundamental phenomena of power that are always present in every human society.


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