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The introduction is worth reading as an expose of Foucault's rationale for looking at prisons and mental asylums, the places where the lumpen proletariat were processed and a subclass made. Those subject to the power within these institutions are dehumanised and processed as if they belong to another species of human being. Foucault wanted to detail some of the presumptions within Marxism about the nature of social class and that economic determinants were not the primordial determinant so beloved of those who are trapped within economic constraints. Forms of power which are coercive also operated within the Soviet Union and increasingly these were also used within the USA following the Reagan Revolution, aimed at the outsider.

Therefore the US prison population has expanded to become a major industry in the USA founded upon the war on drugs initiated in the 1980's which became a war against young people.

The next essay focuses upon the Sophoclean myth of Oedipus which has had such a resounding impact upon the Western mind. Probably no other story, apart from those in the Bible is referenced so much within western thought. Foucault looks at the impact of power within the story and the birth of the witness. Here he begins to differentiate oath and swearing by the gods from giving eye witness testimony. It is highly readable and coherent.

Foucaults inability however to condemn the nature of how power operates is however bizarre and one of they key issues is his inability to conceptualise psychology and motive. This appears missing and so his thought processes around power seem to ensure it remains an invisible force like the wind which operates as a force within nature. It is his inability to locate power within social class arrangements which means his analysis lacks a focus. It is encoded within labels and demarcated by those who attend institutions who wield the labels to demarcate the "other."Therefore this is another stepping stone rather than final resting place.

Foucault ironically, lacked a subject.
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on 19 May 2011
I bought this for just a few of the essays contained within, however, I've found it quite fun just to dip into. Some of the essays are quite short and accessible and Foucault was quite a funny guy in interviews. Enjoy.
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on 14 October 2013
Like most of Foucault's work, this is excellent and worth reading, yet it is also very readable and a good start for those who might struggle with some of his longer books.
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on 31 December 2013
This is one of a set of three books that if you are really interested in Foucault you will want to own - endlessly interesting
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on 10 August 2014
Fab
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on 3 February 2015
Provocative...but on "target"!
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on 2 February 2015
Wonderful service - beautifully packed
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on 17 February 2015
Good quality. Came quickly
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Great! My son is doing a PhD in Musicology at Cornell Uni. This is a very useful collection of Foucault that he flicks through!
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