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Space and the Structuring of Disciplinary Power: An Interpretive Review

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This paper is an attempt to provide an organizing framework for understanding geographic (and related) research that deals with modern social control. The basic panoptic logic of what Foucault termed disciplinary power can be understood to operate at a variety of scales, from that of buildings to that of national territories. But the particular way in which disciplinary power plays out, the way in which the logic of visibility interacts with other forms of power, varies systematically with scale and context. Thus I offer a more scale- and context-sensitive typology of “disciplines”, and the bulk of the essay is devoted to explaining the categories of this typology with reference to existing research. The larger purpose of this paper is to improve our understanding of how modern social control is bound up with larger socio-spatial relations.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Vermont, Old Mill Building, Bington, VT 05405, USA

Publication date: October 1, 1997


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