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

Finally, the fourth effect of the organization of asylum deprivation is that by learning deprivation, by learning that to make up for this deprivation he must work, concede certain things, submit to discipline, etcetera, the patient will learn that basically the care given him, the cure that one attempts to obtain for him, are not owed to him; he is obliged to get them through the efforts of obedience to work, discipline, and remunerated production; he will pay with his work for the good that society does him. As Belloc said: " . . . lf society gives the insane the care they need, the latter must relieve it of the burden according the degree of their strength."'1 In other words, the mad person learns the fourth aspect o( reality: as a patient he must provide for his own needs by hiswork so that society does not have to pay for them. So we arrive at the conclusion that, on the one hand, one pays for one's madness, but that, on the other hand, recovery is purchased. (p.156)


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


Psychiatric Power, Foucault Citations



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