Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Foucault, Michel (1926–1984)
Michel Foucault is best known in political theory for his discussions of power and knowledge during the 1970s. Discipline and Punish (1977); The History of Sexuality, Volume One (1978); and the interviews and lectures reprinted in Power: Essential Works of Foucault, 1954–1984, Volume 3 (2000) were widely acclaimed for extending the sphere of the political to include the variety of ways in which individuals were constructed as certain kinds of subject and for showing how relations of power were embedded in all kinds of social relations, including those between parents and children, men and women, doctors and patients, and teachers and pupils. In contrast to normative political theory's concern with the nature, limits, and legitimate exercise of power, he insisted on a descriptive analysis of power focused on the means by which it is exercised. These included the disciplinary techniques deployed in workshops, factories, armies, schools, and prisons from Discipline ...