Discipline, Punish and "Codify" Working Class Bodies: Towards a Genealogy of "Simulation" and "Mutation"

Dr. Nob Doran
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Some years ago, I suggested the displacement of 'disciplinary power' into 'coded power' (Doran 1987), drawing attention to the lacunae in Foucault's thinking on power/knowledge, because of his top-down perspective on the subjugation of working class bodies in the nineteenth century. Building on my nascent 'genealogy from below' perspective, I had argued that Foucault's work had missed the 'codification' of working class embodied experience, by focusing too much on the mundane technologies of discipline and surveillance which had emerged with the epistemic transformation from sovereign power into disciplinary power (to use Foucault's terminology), in the early nineteenth century. As a result, he had missed the re-combinant strategies of the post-war 'welfare state' in producing `simulated (working class) bodies' (Baudrillard 1983a).

Unfortunately, as my own embodied experience was also being caught up in another epistemic transformation at the time of writing that piece (the mutation from 'disciplinary power' to `advanced liberalism' [Rose 1999]), it has taken me until now to fully comprehend the specificity of that particular mutation as well. However, now that I have reached an age of 'textual maturity', I am able to better comprehend both mutations; the earlier one which laid the foundations for the 'social' and the later one which transformed it into 'neo-liberalism'. However the aim of this specific paper is not to describe this last macro mutation from the 'social' (Donzelot 1984) to 'le social du troisieme type' (Donzelot 1991) or its related micro mutation which transformed certain specific members of a dying 'working class' (Baudrillard 1983b) into a new social formation - 'les exclus' (Donzelot and Roman, 1991, Donzelot et al, 2003).Rather this paper offers me an opportunity to reflect on my earlier thesis on the emergence of 'coded power', and to i. articulate the genealogical origins of those specific technologies of 'codification' which later produced the 'simulation model' of working class embodied experience known as 'the social' and ii. start situating that historical process within a broader understanding of 'epistemic mutation'.

Keywords: Genealogy, Working Class, Simulation, Codification, Incorporation
Stream: Political Science, Politics
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Discipline, Punish... and Codify

Dr. Nob Doran

Professor of Philosophy, Department of Social Science, University of New Brunswick

Ref: H05P0263