Saturday, February 16, 2008

Peterson, Tobias. "Discipline and Punish: the Official Functions." POPMATTERS February 7, 2008.

As the ones responsible for rule enforcement, the referees are physical manifestations of discipline and power, actors whose penalizing reinforces a larger sense of law and punishment for the rest of us. To better see how this might be so, it’s helpful to invoke the work of theorist Michel Foucault. In his book, Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, Foucault describes a shift in the popular conception of discipline from an external notion to a more internalized understanding. To illustrate the case, he discusses the early history of corporal punishment as a very public event, where criminals would be tortured or otherwise castigated in a ritualistic and public display. The considerable audiences that attended these floggings, hangings, beheadings, and so forth, were reminded of the threat of authorities from without (and above) should they ever be tempted to break the rule of law. . . . Read the rest here:

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