What is a Dispositive? Foucault’s Historical Mappings of the Networks of Social Reality

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Abstract

This article advances the ‘dispositive’ (le dispositif) as a key conception in Fou-cault’s work. As developed in his annual lectures in 1978 and 1979, the dispositive represents a crucial constituent of societal analysis on par with the familiar analytics of power/knowledge and the governmentality perspective – indeed it forms a lesser known intermediary between these. Foucault’s dispositional analysis articulates a history of connected social technologies that we have constructed to relate to each other. Expounding these points, the article distinguishes various dispositional prototypes and develops key ‘socio-ontological’ implications of the analy-sis. Reinstating the proper analytical status of the dispositive contributes to the reception of the important notion; the interpretation of Foucault’s entire oeuvre; and a resourceful approach to the study of contemporary societal problems.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [wp]
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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