Foucault: Shift From Disciplinary to Biopolitical Power - Essay Sample

Published: 2021-08-10
577 words
3 pages
5 min to read
Middlebury College
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Foucault shifted from understanding of disciplinary power to more biopolitical power because he had come to realize that power is not only repressive but also productive. The biopolitical power was what was to enable him to come up with an examination of economic thought as well as human sciences in order to understand how people had become subjects of modernity. For this reason, Foucault defined biopolitics to be a specific technology of power that came to emergence at the end of 18th century. He aimed at dealing with biological elements of beings like birth, death, prosperity, reproduction, health, and mode of living. With biopolitics, Foucault was in a position to now approach in a better way, both the 18th and the 19th-century classical political economy. This was mostly with the British one because of the different rationality that existed in the state had become a central issue in analyzing first thinkers who were much concerned with the opulence and the national economic growth of population. With the biopolitics, Foucault was also able to question certain aspects such as the mercantilist doctrines that were concerned with the centrality of state and later, able to address a critique of the sovereign having in mind that the state was supposed to have a fewer interventionist roles in society management issues.

Resource Mobilization Theory

Resource mobilization theory is used in the studies of social movements. It does so by arguing that resources are what determine the success of social movements. Such resources include time, skills and money. The ability to use such resources, according to the theory, determines as well the success of social movements. Note that when the theory appeared, it served as a breakthrough in social movements studies because it had a focus on the variables that are sociological in nature but not psychological. For this reason, the social movements were not viewed again as irrational, disorganized, and emotion-driven. Due to the resource mobilization theory, an influence of outside forces was experienced whereby for instance the government and the various institutions came in to support social movements.

Free Rider Problem

Free rider problem is a situation in which the public goods are underprovided or are not provided at all simply because the individuals consume the goods while they are paying nothing or paying little towards the cost. Because of the fact that there have been firm struggles to hinder people from free riding or enjoying goods without paying for them, many of the goods end up being underprovided. There are examples of free rider problems. Take for instance the case whereby a queen asks his subjects to bring milk and pour into big pot and then distribute it to the people who are poor. Unfortunately, when the big pot is examined it was found that it contained pure water. All the subjects had, on the other hand, brought water with hopes of diluting the milk from other people. In other words, people were free riding on other people hoping that other people would bring milk while they bring water without the knowledge of others. Or else, lets say you are a student and you live in student accommodation and you end up doing no washing with hopes that other students will do it while there is no incentive to bear the costs of you avoiding the washing. Note that free rider problem has become common amongst the public goods and the goods have two main characteristics which include non-rivalry and non-excludability.

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