Self-Documentation as Counter Discipline in the Ethical Works of Michel Foucault

СОЦИОЛОГИЧЕСКИ ПРОБЛЕМИ 48 (3-4):279-292 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper examines the role of self-documentation in the care of the self. As is well known, Michel Foucault exposes how disciplinary power functions in hospitals, schools, prisons, and other institutions to train the living for productive use. An important tool of disciplinary power is documentation, or the recording and cataloguing of the living that constitutes them as objects of knowledge. I show how documentation creates and extends knowledge to individuals. At the same time, documents become physical appendages of the lives they record, which, while separable from those lives, nevertheless affect those lives. Despite these apparently negative functions, Foucault finds that documentation can also be the means by which the living take over their own disciplining. In writings about both fiction and ancient ethics, Foucault points to self-documentation as a way of objectifying the self before the self, so that the self may train itself according to self-imposed standards. Although disciplinary power may be inescapable, self-documentation offers a technique of counter-discipline that functions alongside and against institutional discipline.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

War in the Social and Disciplinary Bodies.Todd May - 2004 - Radical Philosophy Review 7 (1):41-58.
Spaces of the Self.Robert S. Leib - 2017 - Philosophy Today 61 (1):189-210.
Discipline.Bryan S. Turner - 2006 - Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3):183-186.
Michel Foucault: critical assessments.Barry Smart (ed.) - 1988 - New York: Routledge.
Between governance and discipline: The law and Michel Foucault.Tadros Victor - 1998 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 18 (1):75-103.
Michel Foucault.Sara Mills - 2003 - New York: Routledge.


Added to PP

133 (#125,212)

6 months
34 (#89,202)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references