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Power is usually defined as the ability to achieve a desired outcome, i.e. to ‘do’ something. The concept of power is normally defined of by the legislature in a rational sense, having power over others. There are three dimensions of power: decision making power, non-decision-making power and power as thought control (Buse et al 2005). Foucault’s view on power is one which extends across several different sites; gender, race and sexuality. Observing power in contemporary society as “disciplinary” incorporates hierarchical observation, normalizing judgement, and examination to measure every individual’s deviation from a societal norm. For Foucault power in contemporary society manifests itself on an individual level characterized by the techniques of bio and disciplinary power, in a …show more content…
Foucault noted development in the nature of punishment, a change in the content of punishment and he also noted a wider change taking place in the context of widespread social order. As aforementioned, Foucault noticed a development in the nature of punishment, this is underlined by his understanding that punishment passed on from torture to imprisonment. The shift in the content of punishment is symbolized by Bentham’s vision of a panopticonbecause it’s an example where prisoners are aware they are unsure whether they are always under surveillance and spend the day duly in their cells; isolation is torture of the soul, and lastly Foucault also notes a ‘broader change in the social order, (1997, pp. 216-217.) Mathiesen argued that, ‘the movement towards the panoptical form was not only a characteristic feature of the modern prison. A new kind of society was implied in the transformation’ (p. 217). The change in social order being exemplified by the

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