48 pages 1 hour read

Michel Foucault

Discipline And Punish: The Birth of the Prison

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1975

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Index of Terms


The term "bourgeoisie” as it is being used in this context aligns with the Marxist definition, meaning the capitalist class or wealthy class. Foucault describes the influence of the bourgeoisie over the penal system and reveals how illegalities of this social class differ from the proletariat. 

Carceral System

The carceral system is described at the end of Discipline and Punish. Foucault defines the carceral system by its system of imprisonment, which utilizes specific architecture and surveillance to maintain control of prisoners.


The term “discipline” is used in Foucault’s work to describe the actions taken against either the body or the soul in retaliation for a crime. Discipline is a strategy of power through which control can be exercised. Foucault examines how discipline changed as social sensibilities shifted and asserts how all forms of punishment and discipline are expressions of the same pervasive power.

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