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

In other words, it is not so as to provide children with schools, or because of a failure to provide them with schools, that the problem arises of where to put them. The problem of where to put them does not arise in terms of their schooling, of their ability or inability to be educated at school, but in terms of their parents* work.That is to say: what can be done so that the care needed by an idiot child does not make him an obstacle to working parents? What's more, this exactly corresponds to the government's concern at the time that the lawon primary education was being made. You know that if "nursery schools" ("salles d'asi/e") were created in the 1830s, that is to say, creches and kindergartens, and if schooling was provided for children in thisperiod, it was not so much in order to equip them for future employment, as to free their parents for work by no longer having to concern themselves with their children. (p.213)


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


Psychiatric Power, Foucault Citations



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