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Psychiatric Power

Lectures at the Collège de France, 1973-1974

Psychiatric Power by Michel Foucault
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Madness and Civilization undertook the archaeology of the division according to which, in Western society, the madman found himself separated from the sane. That book ends with the medicalization of madness at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Michel Foucault's 1973/1974 course, Psychiatric Power, pursues this history whilst reorienting his project: in this course Foucault sketches the genealogy of psychiatry, of its characteristic form of power/knowledge. In order to give an account of this form of psychiatric and medical knowledge about madness, one must begin from the apparatuses and the techniques of power that organize the treatment of the mad in the period which goes from Philippe Pinel to Jean-Martin Charcot. Psychiatry is not born as a consequence of progress concerning the knowledge of madness but from disciplinary apparatuses in which the régime imposed on madness is organized.
From this point of view, Psychiatric Power continues the project of a history of the human sciences. The course concludes at the end of the nineteenth century at the moment of the double 'depsychiatrisation' of madness, now dispersed between the neurologist and the psychoanalyst. The summary of the course at the end of this volume contains the core of what Foucault perhaps didn't have time to discuss in the course itself. Read in conjunction with the course, Psychiatric Power goes so far as to propose a genealogy of the antipsychiatric movements which so marked the 1960s.
Palgrave Macmillan; April 2006
408 pages; ISBN 9780230245068
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Title: Psychiatric Power
Author: Michel Foucault; Arnold I. Davidson; Graham Burchell