Reconstituting the Political: Foucault and the Modern University
21 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 5 Sep 2009
Date Written: 2009
The notion that the modern university is not a political institution, that it exists outside of the realm of the political, is a notion that needs to be reconsidered. In developing a conception of power as relational and totalizing, Michel Foucault reveals a complex institutional network that subjugates individuals to regimes designed to create them as conforming citizens. In the context of Foucauldian power relations, the university can be understood as a complex, regulating, and normalizing institution that exercises disciplinary control in a similar manner to that of the modern prison. In this paper, I will explore the ways in which the university functions as a factory that manufactures and regulates specific discourses. In articulating the mechanics of power/knowledge that operate within the university context, the case can be made for the reconstitution of what is termed ‘political’.
Keywords: Foucault, University, Political
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