What does Michel Foucault mean by the “micro-physics” of power?

Foucault wants to tie scientific knowledge and technological development to the development of the prison to prove this point. He defines a “micro-physics” of power, which is constituted by a power that is strategic and tactical rather than acquired, preserved or possessed.

What is micro physics power?

A “micro-physics” of power operates; power is a strategy, and we need to decipher it in a system of relations that can be called political anatomy. Power is not a property but a strategy evident in the relations between people. Power relations operate and exist through people. They go right down into society.

What are the two main types of power according to Foucault?

As modes of power in democracies, Foucault explicitly identified:

  • Sovereign power.
  • Disciplinary power.
  • Pastoral power.
  • Bio-power.

What is Michel Foucault’s theory?

In his 1975 book Discipline and Punish, Foucault argued that French society had reconfigured punishment through the new “humane” practices of “discipline” and “surveillance”, used in new institutions such as prisons, the mental asylums, schools, workhouses and factories.

What is Michel Foucault’s best known for?

Michel Foucault began to attract wide notice as one of the most original and controversial thinkers of his day with the appearance of The Order of Things in 1966. His best-known works included Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975) and The History of Sexuality, a multivolume history of Western sexuality.

What are Foucault view on discourse and power?

Discourse, as defined by Foucault, refers to: ways of constituting knowledge, together with the social practices, forms of subjectivity and power relations which inhere in such knowledges and relations between them. Discourses are more than ways of thinking and producing meaning.

What did Foucault mean by sovereign power?

According to Foucault, the classical privilege of sovereign power is the “right to take life or let live;” sovereignty manifests itself as a right to kill when the sovereign’s existence is in danger (Foucault, 1990, p. 136).