نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی
استادیار زبان و ادبیات فارسی دانشگاه گیلان
عنوان مقاله [English]
Contrasting the soul and the body and considering humankind as a spiritual entity were formed in Plato’s philosophical system. This duality was dominant until the twentieth century in Western philosophy. At the end of the twentieth century, the body and its conceptual-visual correlations became the focal point of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s studies, the phenomenologist philosopher. In Merleau-Ponty’s thought we are bodily perceivers. Every kind of cognition, perception, awareness, and connection of a person with herself, her and others’ surrounding world is possible only through/with the body. The body is not an individual, independent, and nonchangeable term, but like all other terms, knowledge, subjects, and objects, it is constructed and represented in relation with power discourses. Studying school stories, the present article shows how the discourse of power in educational institutions exerts its authority over the bodies with its powerful arms. The process of power with disciplinary technology and its techniques such as normalizing punishment, panopticon/monitoring of power, engineering principles, hierarchy, etc. supervises every part of students’ physical activities. And with presenting and imposing patterns regarding the manner of standing, the style of sitting, rites of speaking, type of clothing, and appearance constructs the ideal body of educational discourse. The building-space of the school, appropriate to disciplinary and supervisory patterns, has an important role in continuing supervision and monitoring. Using insults in animal terms (calf, mule, dog, etc.), the disciplinary agents impose an animal body on the students and, through this process of subjectivization, gradually correlations and metaphors of a new animal body are created for them. In school stories, the ideal bodies are those that are tame, quiet, and obedient. Disciplinary technology with different mechanisms judges, normalizes, and puts into hierarchy the incompatible and revolting bodies.
With the emergence of modern thought and formation of concepts connected with modernity, the meanings of individuality and the body underwent considerable changes. The politicization of the body and globalization of the media brought about changes in perceptions of the body. In the 20th century phenomenology, especially the philosophical ideas of Merleau-Ponty, the body has a central place and attracts a lot of philosophical attention. In the present study, the mechanisms of disciplinary technology and how they construct the body of students are examined through a sociological point of view, mostly by drawing on Foucault’s ideas. The panoptic principle of power has a central place in disciplinary technology. In the present study attempt is made to examine how this principle is followed in school stories and in the structure and elements of the educational institutions.
2. Theoretical Framework
In cultural and sociological studies of the body, the body is far from an individual, independent phenomenon or an absolute, static and unchanging concept; it is rather affected and represented by constructing institutions and power discourses. Foucault puts the body in the center of his studies and according to him, the relationship between the individual body and the social/cultural body is impossible without considering power relations. In the present study, disciplinary technology and its effects on the body in schools will be examined by relying on the ideas of Foucault.
In the present study, disciplinary technology and its ways of constructing students’ bodies are examined from a sociological point of view, based on the ideas of theorists in this field, in particular, those of Foucault. For this purpose, school stories by writers such as Choobak, Al-e Ahmad, Darvishian and Moradi Kermani are reread and analyzed so that elements of the complicated network of disciplinary technology are analyzed.
School buildings are designed in a way that students are kept under constant surveillance. The principle of panopticon is also followed in the hierarchical supervision of the principal, schoolmaster, teacher, monitor and the like, through which any abnormal bodily behavior is reported and the perpetrator is punished. School authorities rely on different forms of verbal and nonverbal intimidation and reprimand to bring students’ bodies under control. However, some students choose to protest such a structure in different ways, resulting in behaviors considered by disciplinary technology as abnormalities. Disciplinary technology executives, following the principles of panopticon, try to force the subjects to have a uniform look and outfit so that any disobedience is immediately detected and reported.
Bodily experiences, the lived body and bodily features of the students are directly associated with their acceptance, flexibility, subjugation, resistance and opposition. Disciplinary technology is used at school to produce docile, subjugated bodies, so that, as school authorities claim, qualified, efficient workforce is trained for the society. Due to the association between bodily experiences and feature and future social roles, while these students might be subjugated and docile, they do not necessarily turn into efficient workforce.