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Ethics and the Evolving Deployments of Disciplinary Practices: A Foucauldian Analysis of the Glamorization of Bodies

Gerald Pio M. Franco


The paper discusses how individuals are constituted by disciplinary practices as presented in Michel Foucault’s two major works: Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction. The workings of power-knowledge gave rise to the penal apparatus and deployments of sexuality, which affected entire populations. But even as these disciplinary practices evolve and become seemingly more humane and liberating, they continue to produce docile and normalized subjects. One particular example of this process, discussed here in detail, is the transition from the figure of the hysterical woman to the modern glamorous (beautiful) woman. Such a transition extends Foucault’s ideas to show the immense variety of disciplinary practices. The last section explores a Foucauldian conception of ethics that seeks to reclaim the autonomy of subjects through self-creation.

Keywords Disciplinarity, governmentality, sexuality, subjectivity,
ethics, askēsis

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