An Introduction to Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish

Which is worse: imprisoning someone for committing a crime, or intimidating someone into following the law? A short video introduces the main ideas of Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish, including his perceptions of the dangers of dynamic normalization and the undemocratic nature of constant surveillance.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use during a philosophy or sociology lesson when addressing government surveillance 
  • Have learners write their own summary of the book and compare their observations to the video
  • Introduce a research project about modern punishment and imprisonment with the video
Classroom Considerations

  • Comment section is available to the public
  • Note the additional links in the information section for more critical thinking resources

  • Provides a thought-provoking account of Foucault's views
  • Beneficial alongside a reading of the entire book, or for a summary in the context of a larger sociology lesson

  • None