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Among the numerous reasons why Discipline and Punish continues to be read and to shape the contours of criminology, sociology, political theory, and philosophy, is its attention to the development of criminal subjectivity. The ascendancy of the disciplinary age brought about the “fabrication” of the delinquent as a by-product of the discursive needs of the penitentiary technique and the requirements of the juridical law. The figure of the delinquent comes into existence both historically and theoretically at the intersection between discursive orders to manage the contradictions between them, providing a suitable subject for both the court and the penitentiary. The delinquent carries the burden of this discursive interchange, becoming a condition of possibility for the justification of many punitive practices and the widespread deployment of disciplinary surveillance. In short, without the delinquent, Foucault insists, the coherence of the carceral society would be in question

Recommended Citation

Dilts, Andrew. “Michel Foucault Meets Gary Becker: Criminality Beyond Discipline and Punish.” Carceral Notebooks 4 (2008): 77–100.