Michel Foucault (1926–1984) was one of the major thinkers of the twentieth century. He was born, educated, and lived in France. He held a chair at the prestigious Collège de France; he also taught at universities around the world, including the University of California at Berkeley.
Foucault was not a psychologist, but his formulations on such issues as discipline and the care of the self, as well as the emergence of psychology and the human sciences more generally, continue to possess great relevance for psychology. In addressing Foucault’s work, perhaps the best place to start is his Discipline and Punish(1975/1979). The book dealt with the emergence of the “disciplines” in the Western world from the seventeenth century on. The disciplines involved such practices and procedures as fixing in place and confining, observation and surveillance, training and exercise, judging and classifying according to norms (“normalization”), and examination. The disciplines avoided violent methods...
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