0
   

Which is more important in today's society: disciplinary power or sovereign power?

 
 
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2020 11:51 am
I was just wondering people's opinions on this? I feel it's easy to argue that disciplinary power is obviously more important than sovereign power in modern society, however, I was just wondering if it is possible to argue that sovereign power still plays a significant role in society? If so, is it as/more significant than disciplinary power?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 123 • Replies: 7
No top replies

 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2020 11:57 am
@btstay13,
Can you please define these two terms, and maybe provide an example or two?
btstay13
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2020 12:26 pm
@maxdancona,
sovereign power - sovereign powers of command consist of the coercive structures of exclusion, repression, & punishment
- this is the form of power used historically, by monarchs (ie. the monarch holds all the power over their subjects) - absolute monarchy
- punishment is used to deter others from committing crimes & reinstate the sovereign's power
- example: Guy Fawkes being publically tortured & executed after the gunpowder plot in 1605

disciplinary power - forms individuals, including their motives, desires & orientations, in order to enable them to act as members of the governed social groups
- ie. power does not simply belong to the state or monarch
- this type of power shapes subjects who eventually come to speak/think/act in the manner desired by those in power
- example: rules & procedures are set by an individual's employer. These rules are not simply imposed on the individual, but the individual makes sure to follow them, while also enforcing them in others (ie. if they see someone breaking a rule, they will tell that employee/boss about the violation)

In modern society disciplinary power is obviously more important than sovereign power as we no longer have absolute monarchies, however, I was just wondering if sovereign power is still relevant to modern society at all?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2020 12:41 pm
@btstay13,
If I rob a bank, the police come with guns to arrest me. Then if I am found guilty, I am punished by being put into jail.

Is this sovereign power or disciplinary power?
btstay13
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2020 12:57 pm
@maxdancona,
sovereign power. the purpose of the punishment isn't to restore power to a monarch/ruling figure, but to elicit change within the individual to stop them doing it again in the future. In this way the individual becomes self-regulating and acts in the way the ruling class desires
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2020 01:54 pm
@btstay13,
I don't think I accept your definitions for these terms.

1. We put people in jail for and ask for longer sentences as a deterrent effect. We give people life sentences... and in many States we still execute people.

2. There are many instance where in our modern society the "ruling class" fails to make individuals "self-regulating" (a strange term for this). It wasn't that long ago we tried to stamp out homosexuality.

3. There are also plenty of examples of power in a monarchy using punishment to "elicit change" in individual behavior. Many of the punishments were bent on shaming the individual without doing permanent harm.

I still don't fully understand the distinction you are trying to make. You give the example of "Guy Fawkes" who was a terrorist in the 1500s. Other than offering due process... I don't think the way we consider punishment for terrorists is very different.



btstay13
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2020 07:47 am
@maxdancona,
These aren't *my* definitions, they are simply explanations of disciplinary power and sovereign power as defined by the likes of Foucault and Lukes. I am interpreting them to the best of my understanding. To respond to your points:

1. Obviously jail sentences are used as a deterrent - in this way people are reluctant to commit crimes in the future, and stop themselves from doing so, hence self-regulating. Of course, some crimes are so heinous that the aim of sentencing can no longer be deterrence, and so life sentences are required.

2. Of course the ruling class can't exert their power in a way that makes everyone conform to their desired behaviours, there will always be exceptions. However, I refute your point about homosexuality. Whilst homosexuality was never 'stamped out', the laws and punishments of the time (eg. chemical castration, prison sentences etc.) resulted in many LGBT people abstaining from homosexual acts, repressing their feelings (eg. by engaging in heterosexual marriages), or at the very least engaging in secret relationships. Is this not, therefore, still the ruling class successfully exerting their power over a group in society, resulting in the significant suppression of homosexuality, which they perceived as obscene?

3. Historically, the monarchy used punishment not only to manipulate individual behaviour, but to restore power and authority to themselves. The shaming aspect was about taking the power away from the individual and restoring it to the monarch.

Thank you for engaging with my question - you raise some interesting points. These two forms of power are very complicated, and it can be hard to fully distinguish between the two. The influence of sovereign power on modern society (if it has any influence at all) is something I still don't understand fully.
0 Replies
 
btstay13
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2020 07:50 am
@btstay13,
so sorry, I realise I misspoke before. the answer to your question about robbing the bank is disciplinary power, not sovereign power!!
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Which is more important in today's society: disciplinary power or sovereign power?
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 11/26/2020 at 10:09:07