To Foucault, everything is about power
relationships. Entwined with power is knowledge so
that in every power relationship there is knowledge
is power" and revises it: the knowledge of humans
integrated with the power that acts on humans equals
power/knowledge. Consequently, power/knowledge (not a
binary opposition but an integrated construction) is
always a discursive formation and works through
language. To understand how power/knowledge works,
it's important to understand "epistemes" and
Epistemes are whole systems of relations or historical
groupings of knowledge.
knowledge in historical contexts rather than in
Humanist or Structuralist theories. Grouping
taxonomies, or categorizing is important in studying
epistemes because how we group things reveals what we
value. Power/knowledge works through language in
discourse as well as in epistemes. Discourse is
grouping an order of objects about a subject or group
of specialized knowledge about a subject.
not simply language.
of signs but practices that systematically form the
objects of which they speak." In this sense, analysis
of discourses leads to truth.
Discourse is fixed and limited to the time in which it
exists. For example, we can look at the current war
in Iraq and its discursive elements (weapons,
participants, strategy), but this discourse is
specific only to the time the war in Iraq exists. This
discursive formation is not relevant in the past and
will hold no truth in the future; it pertains solely
to its particular time. The goal for discursive
analysis is to discover what is being said through
what is said or as
this specific existence that emerges from what is said
and nowhere else."
Control over body and soul is the primary focus...