For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Psychiatric power: Lectures at the college de france, 1973--1974

by Foucault, Michel (2008)

Key Passage

Then there is the tactic of setting to work. Work is highly overdeterminedin the asylum system since, on the one hand, it ensures thenecessary order, discipline, regularity, and constant occupation. Thus,very quickly, around the 1830s, work becomes obligatory withmasylums. The Sainte-Anne farm was initially an extension of the Bicetrehospital before taking over from it.39 As Girard de Cailleux said whenhe was the director of the Auxerre hospital: "peeling and preparing vegetables is frequently a highly beneficial occupation in treatment.", 0 Theinteresting thing about this is that this work is not just imposed becauseit is a lactor in order, discipline, and regularity, but because it enablesone to slip in a system of reward. Asylum work is not tree; it is paid, andthis payment is not a supplementary favor but at the very heart of thefunction of work, for the remuneration must be sufficient to satisfy certainneeds created by the underlying asylum deprivation: insufficient food,the absence of any extras (tobacco, a dessert, etcetera, must be paid for). (p.154)


Foucault, Postmodernism, Psychiatric Power, Power, Resistance, Labour, Wages, Medicine, Clinic, Psychiatrization


Psychiatric Power, Foucault Citations



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