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To Foucault everything is about power relationships Entwined with power is knowledge so that in every power relationship there is knowledge and vice-versa Foucault takes the clich Knowledge is power and revises it the knowledge of humans integrated with the power that acts on humans equals powerknowledge Consequently powerknowledge not a binary opposition but an integrated construction is always a discursive formation and works through language To understand how powerknowledge works its important to understand epistemes and discourse Epistemes are whole systems of relations or historical groupings of knowledge Foucault looks for truth and 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 Powerknowledge 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 Discourse is not simply language Foucault says it is not a group 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 Foucault says to find what is this specific existence that emerges from what is said and nowhere else Control over body and soul is the primary focus of Discipline and Punish Discipline and punishment are all about power relations between dominators and their subjects For Foucault truth is a human
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