Discipline, health and madness: Foucault's le pouvoir psychiatrique

Stuart Elden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article provides a reading and analysis of Foucault's 1973-4 lecture course Le pouvoir psychiatrique. It begins by situating the course within the wider context of Foucault's work, notably in relation to Histoire de la folie and the move of the early 1970s to the conceptual tools of power and genealogy. It is argued that Le pouvoir psychiatrique is a rewriting of the last part of Histoire de la folie from the perspective of these new conceptual tools. Analysis then moves to more thematic concerns, showing how this course enriches our understanding of Foucault's work on the sources of power, the individual and the family, and the spaces of the disciplinary society. Particular focus is given to the role of the army, public health, the hospital, children, women and hospital architecture. The article concludes by showing how the themes of this course, while not worked up for publication themselves, point the way to concerns in Foucault's later work, notably The History of Sexuality and collaborative work on urban medicine and habitat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-66
Number of pages28
JournalHistory of the Human Sciences
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Architecture
  • Children
  • Foucault
  • Power
  • Public health
  • Women

Cite this

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Discipline, health and madness : Foucault's le pouvoir psychiatrique. / Elden, Stuart.

In: History of the Human Sciences, Vol. 19, No. 1, 01.02.2006, p. 39-66.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

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