October 12, Author:
Michel Foucaultprominent French historian and philosopher closely aligned to the structuralist movement had significant influence over the sociological understanding of the examining gaze and its connection to modernity.
Foucault in Discipline and Punish gives an historical overview pertaining to the Seventeenth Century, the Enlightenment period, Industrial revolution up to contemporary society. The concept around the word soul dates back as far as Homer.
Foucault argued that although punishment of the soul is relatively new, the concept is old. Simply put the soul leaves the body at the point of physical death of the body and it is then that one is freed of the burden of the body with all its desires and failings, a topic of which has been the subject of discourse for centuries.
St Augustine Ad- AD framed the concepts of original sin and just war and was instrumental in indoctrinating the idea of sin coming from the fall of man, originating from The Holy Bible. These ideals, coupled with a separation between the body and soul enhanced ideas of polarity, of opposites.
The body was a tool to gain enlightenment from the sensual to the spiritual and used by the Church to control the passions of its congregations Skillington From this time forward society progressively looked upon the body as an object of knowledge and observation.
Foucault writes in depth on the use of the confession: These confessions then became data for the social sciences which used the knowledge to construct mechanisms of social control.
In this regard Foucault is putting a mirror up to the quite opposing Christian belief that the body is the prison of the soul. Based on the cell based, monastic structures surrounding a central tower, stark light would then allow the eye to be seeing on all subjects.
Although the structure was never built the concept has been used in all institutions, education, medicine, law and your general high street.
The concept of the Panopticon of which Foucault uses as a metaphor for the gaze saw a subtle shift in attitude away from the dungeon. It was found that by changing 2 of the 3 fundamental techniques that people would do as was required without the use of force.
Many of these people were admitted to asylums by their families and many as a way to get the inheritance of land or property, a debate prominent in Irish politics today.
Anyone who did not conform to the strict Catholic codes were in danger of falling into this category and understandably instilled a deep sense of fear in many people throughout the nation that is still visible today. As Foucault argues Foucault,the mere insinuation of punishment which would initiate fearful thoughts and feelings was enough to control many people to conform to strict regulations and moral codes.
With a heavy, controlling and dominating force, the Church knew their congregation intimately through confession and were heavily relied on by family units for moral regulation. Foucault asks us to question our beliefs. He states how the mindful body is a repressed body, a reflection of years of intimidation and aggressive socialisation into passivity.
It is through this social control that Foucault argues that bio power comes to play as a very effective way of controlling people on mass. Foucault was far more interested in the methods used in contemporary society than the structures that stood.
He believed that an understanding of these methods could then be applied to any institution in society. The daily practice of self surveillance controls that which is determined to be normal by society: The meticulousness of the regulations, the fussiness of the inspections, the supervision of the smallest fragment of life and of the body will soon provide, in the context of the school, the barracks, the hospital or the workshop, a laicized content, an economic or technical rationality…A meticulous observation of detail, and at the same time a political awareness of these small things, for the control and use of men.
Through the family, schooling infant level being characterised through learning discipline of sitting, working a normal days work, break times, rest times, eating times and sleep routinesfurther education and then into the world of work of which we are socially integrated and accepted.
Another example is in a cross section: The regimented timetable and routine of clocking in and out could be argued is present from birth to death. Foucault talks at length about this rhythm that is mirrored by the external but is primarily a condition of the internal mechanisms of the individual.
Seen for example in the factory worker who becomes an artificial extension of the machine they are operating, the manipulating of oneself for any given task:A Postmodernist Perspective: The Clinical Gaze.
In 71,(Birth of the Clinic (/J), postmodern theorist Michel Foucault questioned existing assumptions about medical knowledge and the power that doctors have gained over othcrjnedical personnel andeveryday people.
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Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now! 22 MEDICINE, HEALTH AND SOCIETY PARSONS AND FUNCTIONALISM The obvious place to start a survey of medical sociology is, of course, the beginning.
Sociologists define health as being the ability of a person to function normally and to perform normal duties in a regular manner on a daily basis (Browne, ).
The healthy individual feels well.
Illness, also called sickness, is a term applied to a person who does not feel well. Disease. SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH AND MEDICINE nature of much research relevant to medical sociology, with its strong empirical tradi- SOCIAL THEORY AND THE SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH AND MEDICINE 25 with the onset of symptoms, people will adopt a passive, compliant role as a patient.