Foucault, Michel

Michel Foucault (1926–1984) is one of the most important philosophers of the second half of the 20th century and one of the foundational thinkers in surveillance studies. The common thread that runs throughout his work is that of power and of its productive capabilities, both in terms of conformity and social control and for the creation of modern subjectivity. This entry focuses in particular on the disciplinary society and biopower and on how each is constituted through a particular set of dispositifs.


The word “dispositif” refers to the set of techniques, systems of knowledge, administrative mechanisms, and procedures that support and make the exercise of power possible. The word does not have a precise English equivalent and has been variously translated, even within the same text, ...

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